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(1)The Lord Chancellor shall issue, and may from time to time revise, a code of practice providing guidance to relevant authorities as to the practice which it would, in his opinion, be desirable for them to follow in connection with the keeping, management and destruction of their records.
(2)For the purpose of facilitating the performance by the Public Record Office, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and other public authorities of their functions under this Act in relation to records which are public records for the purposes of the M1Public Records Act 1958 or the Public Records Act (Northern Ireland) 1923, the code may also include guidance as to—
(b)the practice of reviewing records before they are transferred under those provisions.
(3)In exercising his functions under this section, the Lord Chancellor shall have regard to the public interest in allowing public access to information held by relevant authorities.
(4)The code may make different provision for different relevant authorities.
(5)Before issuing or revising any code under this section the Lord Chancellor shall consult—
[F1(a)the Secretary of State,]
(b)the Commissioner, and
(c)in relation to Northern Ireland, the appropriate Northern Ireland Minister.
(6)The Lord Chancellor shall lay before each House of Parliament any code or revised code made under this section.
(7)In this section “ ” means—
(a)any public authority, and
(b)any office or body which is not a public authority but whose administrative and departmental records are public records for the purposes of the M4Public Records Act 1958 or the Public Records Act (Northern Ireland) 1923.
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