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There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Public Records Act 1958. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations.
Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):
Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
1The provisions of this Schedule shall have effect for determining what are public records for the purposes of this Act.E+W+S+N.I.
2(1)Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, administrative and departmental records belonging to Her Majesty, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, in right of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and, in particular,—E+W+S+N.I.
(a)records of, or held in, any department of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom, or
(b)records of any office, commission or other body or establishment whatsoever under Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom,
shall be public records.
(2)Sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph shall not apply—
(a)to records of any government department or body which is wholly or mainly concerned with Scottish affairs, or which carries on its activities wholly or mainly in Scotland, or
(b)to registers or certified copies of entries in registers being registers or certified copies kept or deposited in the General Register Office under or in pursuance of any enactment, whether past or future, which provides for the registration of births, deaths, marriages [F1, civil partnerships] or adoptions, or
(c)except so far as provided by paragraph 4 of this Schedule, to records of the Duchy of Lancaster, or
(d)to records of the office of the Public Trustee relating to individual trusts [F2or
(e)to Welsh public records (as defined in [F3the Government of Wales Act 2006]).]
3(1)Without prejudice to the generality of sub-paragraph (1) of the last foregoing paragraph, the administrative and departmental records of bodies and establishments set out in the Table at the end of this paragraph shall be public records, whether or not they are records belonging to Her Majesty.E+W+S+N.I.
(2)The provisions of this paragraph shall not be taken as applying to records in any museum or gallery mentioned in the said Table which form part of its permanent collections (that is to say records which the museum or gallery has acquired otherwise than by transfer from or arrangements with a government department).
|BODIES AND ESTABLISHMENTS UNDER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS|
|Responsible Government Department|
|[F4Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.]|
Agricultural Wages Board.
Agricultural Wages Committees.
Organisation known as the “National Farm Survey”.
Official seed testing station for England and Wales.
|[F5Ministry of Defence]||Meteorological Office.|
|F6. . .||F7. . .|
|[F8Department of Health]|
National Health Service Authorities [F9including [F10Primary Care Trusts][F11, National Health Service trusts and NHS foundation trusts]] other than local health authorities [F12and Authorities for districts or localities in Wales, or for areas in or consisting of Wales (including National Health Service trusts all of whose hospitals, establishments and facilities are situated in Wales)].
records of endowments passing to Boards of Governors under section seven of the National Health Service Act 1946.
records relating to funds held by Hospital Boards and Committees under sections fifty-nine and sixty of the said Act, andrecords of private patients admitted under section five of the said Act.
[F17records of property passing to [F18Regional, Area or District] Health Authorities or special health authorities under sections 23 to 26 of the M1National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 [F19, section 92 of the National Health Service Act 1977, section 213 of the National Health Service Act 2006 or section 161 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006]
records of property held by a [F20Regional,Area or District] Health Authority or special health authority under section 21 or 22 of the said Act 1973][F21, section 90 or 91 of the National Health Service Act 1977, section 218 of the National Health Service Act 2006 or paragraph 8 of Schedule 6 to that Act, or paragraph 8 of Schedule 5 to the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006]
[F22records of trust property passing to a [F23Strategic Health Authority, Health Authority, Special Health Authority or Primary Care Trust] by virtue of the Health Authorities Act 1995 [F24, under section 213 of the National Health Service Act 2006 or section 161 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006,] or held by [F25a Strategic Health Authority or] a Health Authority under section 90 or 91 of [F26the National Health Service Act 1977, section 218 of the National Health Service Act 2006, paragraph 12 of Schedule 2 to, or paragraph 8 of Schedule 6 to, that Act, or paragraph 8 of Schedule 5 to the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006].]
F27. . .
Office of Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.
Office of Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District.
|[F28Department of Employment]|
National Dock Labour Board.
National Institute of Houseworkers Limited.
Wages Boards and Wages Councils.
|[F29Department of Social Security]|
National Insurance Advisory Committee.
Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.
[F30Attendance Allowance Board.]
National Insurance and Industrial Injuries Joint Authorities.
Workmen’s Compensation Supplementation Board.
Pneumoconiosis and Byssinosis Benefit Board.
F31. . .
F32. . .
|[F33Department of Transport]|
Air Transport Advisory Council.
Air Registration Board.
[F34Airworthiness Requirements Board, Civil Aviation Authority.]
[F35Strategic Rail Authority.]
|[F36Ministry of Justice]|
[F37Legal Aid Board]
[F38Legal Services Commission]
Anglo-Egyptian Resettlement Board.
[F42Arts and Humanities Research Council.]
[F43The Big Lottery Fund.]
[F44The Board of the Pension Protection Fund.]
[F45The Board of Trustees of the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside.]
[F46British Coal Corporation]
British Museum (including the Natural History Museum).
[F50the Care Quality Commission.]
Catering Wages Commission.
[F51Central Police Training and Development Authority]
[F52Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.]
[F53Civil Nuclear Police Authority.]
Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation.
[F55Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.]
[F56The Commission for Equality and Human Rights.]
[F61Commission on Industrial Relations]
[F62Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.]
[F63Commission for Rural Communities.]
[F66The Committee on Climate Change.]
[F71Consumer Council for Water.]
[F72Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence]
[F75Criminal Cases Review Commission]
[F76Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations (before and after their reconstitution as a body corporate)] except when acting for governments or authorities outside Her Majesty’s dominions.
[F77Crown Agents Holding and Realisation Board.]
[F82A development agency established under section 1 of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998.]
[F83Director of Fair Access to Higher Education]
[F86Economic and Social Research Council.]
F88. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
[F89Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.]
[F92The Environment Agency]
[F93Funding Agency for Schools]
[F94 Further Education Funding Council for England.]
[F97General Social Care Council.]
[F98General Teaching Council for England.]
[F94Higher Education Funding Council for England.]
[F102Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England]
[F103The Homes and Communities Agency.]
[F104Human Tissue Authority.]
Imperial War Museum.
[F105The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.]
[F107Infrastructure Planning Commission.]
Irish Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Land Trust.
[F108Learning and Skills Council for England.]
[F109The Legal Services Board.]
[F110The Legal Services Consultative Panel.]
[F113Local Better Regulation Office.]
[F114Local Government Boundary Commission for England.]
[F115The Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct]
F116. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
[F117The Marine Management Organisation.]
[F118Medical Research Council.]
[F123National Audit Office]
F125. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
[F126The National Consumer Council.]
[F128National Lottery Commission.]
National Maritime Museum.
[F130National Policing Improvement Agency.]
National Portrait Gallery.
National Savings Committee.
[F132Natural Environment Research Council.]
[F136Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.]
[F137Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority.]
[F138Office of Communications.]
[F141Office of Fair Trading.]
[F142The Office for Legal Complaints.]
[F143Office for Tenants and Social Landlords.]
[F144Olympic Delivery Authority.]
[F145Olympic Lottery Distributor.]
[F146The Ombudsman for the Board of the Pension Protection Fund.]
[F147Pensions Compensation Board.]
[F149The Pensions Regulator.]
[F150Personal Accounts Delivery Authority]
[F151Police Information Technology Organisation]
[F153Post Office company (within the meaning of Part IV of the Postal Services Act 2000).]
[F154Qualifications and Curriculum Authority]
[F157Rail Passengers’ Committees.]
[F158Rail Passengers’ Council.]
[F159Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew]
Royal Greenwich Observatory.
[F160School Curriculum and Assessment Authority]
[F163Security Industry Authority.]
[F164Serious Organised Crime Agency.]
[F169The Simpler Trade Procedures Board.]
[F172Technology Strategy Board.]
[F173Traffic Director for London]
[F174Training and Development Agency for Schools]
F175. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Trustee Savings Banks Inspection Committee.
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.
University Grants Committee.
[F176Valuation Tribunal Service.]
[F177Victoria and Albert Museum]
War Works Commission.
Any body established for the purpose of determining the boundaries of constituencies of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, or of local authorities in England [F178or Wales].
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
[F1793A(1)Her Majesty may by Order in Council amend the Table at the end of paragraph 3 of this Schedule by adding to either Part of the Table an entry relating to any body or establishment—E+W+S+N.I.
(a)which, at the time when the Order is made, is specified in Schedule 2 to the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 (departments, etc. subject to investigation), or
(b)in respect of which an entry could, at that time, be added to Schedule 2 to that Act by an Order in Council under section 4 of that Act (which confers power to amend that Schedule).
(2)An Order in Council under this paragraph may relate to a specified body or establishment or to bodies or establishments falling within a specified description.
(3)An Order in Council under this paragraph shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.]
4(1)Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, records of the following descriptions shall be public records for the purposes of this Act:—E+W+S+N.I.
[F180(za)records of the Supreme Court;]
(a)records of, or held in any department of, the Supreme Court (including any court held under a commission of assize);
(b)records of county courts and of any other superior or inferior court of record established since the passing of the M2County Courts Act 1846;
F181(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(d)records of courts of quarter sessions:
(e)records of magistrates’ courts;
(f)records of coroners’ courts;
[F182(fa)records of the Court Martial, the Summary Appeal Court or the Service Civilian Court;]
(g)records of courts-martial held whether within or outside the United Kingdom by any of Her Majesty’s forces raised in the United Kingdom;
(h)records of naval courts held whether within or outside the United Kingdom under the enactments relating to merchant shipping;
(i)records of any court exercising jurisdiction held by Her Majesty within a country outside Her dominions;
(j)records of any tribunal (by whatever name called)—
(i)which has jurisdiction connected with any functions of a department of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom; or
(ii)which has jurisdiction in proceedings to which such a government department is a party or to hear appeals from decisions of such a government department;
[F183(ja)records of the Upper Tribunal;]
(k)records of F184. . . any Rent Tribunal or Local Valuation Court;
(l)records of the Industrial Court, of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal, and of the National Arbitration Tribunal (which was replaced by the Industrial Disputes Tribunal);
(n)records of ecclesiastical courts when exercising the testamentary and matrimonial jurisdiction removed from them by the M5Court of Probate Act 1857, and the M6Matrimonial Causes Act 1857, respectively;
[F185(nn)records of the Information Tribunal;]
(o)records of such other courts or tribunals (by whatever name called) as the Lord Chancellor may by order contained in a statutory instrument specify.
[F186(1A)Records of, or held in any department of, the Supreme Court within sub-paragraph (1)(a) of this paragraph include the records of the Chancery Court of the county palatine of Lancaster and the Chancery Court of the county palatine of Durham (which were abolished by the Courts Act 1971).
(1B)Records of county courts within sub-paragraph (1)(b) of this paragraph include the records of the following courts (which were abolished by the Courts Act 1971)—
(a)the Tolzey and Pie Poudre Courts of the City and County of Bristol;
(b)the Liverpool Court of Passage;
(c)the Norwich Guildhall Court; and
(d)the Court of Record for the Hundred of Salford.]
(2)This paragraph shall not apply to any court or tribunal whose jurisdiction extends only to Scotland or Northern Ireland.
(3)In this paragraph “records” includes records of any proceedings in the court or tribunal in question and includes rolls, writs, books, decrees, bills, warrants and accounts of, or in the custody of, the court or tribunal in question.
5The records of the Chancery of England [F187, other than any which are Welsh public records (as defined in [F188the Government of Wales Act 2006]),] shall be public records for the purposes of this Act.E+W+S+N.I.
6Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this Schedule, public records for the purposes of this Act shall include—E+W+S+N.I.
(a)all records within the meaning of the M7Public Record Office Act 1838, or to which that Act was applied, which at the commencement of this Act are in the custody of the Master of the Rolls in pursuance of that Act, and
(b)all records (within the meaning of the said Act or to which that Act was applied) which at the commencement of this Act are in the Public Record Office and, in pursuance of the said Act, under the charge and superintendence of the Master of the Rolls, and
(c)all records forming part of the same series as any series of documents falling under sub-paragraph (a) or sub-paragraph (b) of this paragraph [F189other than any which are Welsh public records (as defined in [F190the Government of Wales Act 2006])].
7(1)Without prejudice to the Lord Chancellor’s power of making orders under paragraph 4 of this Schedule, Her Majesty may by Order in Council direct that any description of records not falling within the foregoing provisions of this Schedule [F191and not being Welsh public records (as defined in [F192the Government of Wales Act 2006])] shall be treated as public records for the purposes of this Act but no recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty in Council to make an Order under this sub-paragraph unless a draft of the Order has been laid before Parliament and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.E+W+S+N.I.
(2)A question whether any records or description of records are public records for the purposes of this Act shall be referred to and determined by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chancellor shall include his decisions on such questions in his annual report to Parliament and shall from time to time compile and publish lists of the departments, bodies, establishments, courts and tribunals comprised in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of this Schedule and lists describing more particularly the categories of records which are, or are not, public records as defined in this Schedule.
8It is hereby declared that any description of government department, court, tribunal or other body or establishment in this Schedule by reference to which a class of public records is framed extends to a government department, court, tribunal or other body or establishment, as the case may be, which has ceased to exist, whether before or after the passing of this Act.E+W+S+N.I.
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