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Freedom of Information (FOI)

The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to ask any public body for all the information they have on any subject you choose.

Unless there’s a good reason, we will provide the information.

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Review of the Thirty Year Rule

Under the Public Records Act 1958, government departments are required to identify records worthy of permanent preservation and transfer them to The National Archives (TNA). In January 2013 the mandated time period for transfer will begin to reduce from 30 years to 20 years. Government departments and other public bodies will start transferring and releasing (subject to sensitivity considerations) an additional year’s worth of records every year for 10 years.

The ONS is committed to meeting the requirements of this change in legislation and has plans in place to do so.

TNA have set up an ongoing reporting mechanism, the Record Transfer Report, to enable them to monitor departments' progress with the transition and compliance with the change. This will be reported annually to the Lord Chancellor.

The May 2014 Record Transfer Report for the ONS has been completed by the Records Management team in conjunction with their Information Management Consultant at TNA. It will form the baseline for the transition period.

Some examples of ONS (or its predecessor departments) records selected by TNA in previous years include:

  • FV 63 - Ministry of Technology  relating to various utility and transport strikes in the 1970s

  • BT 70 - Board of Trade files relating to Balance of Payments and various trading topics for the UK

  • LAB 17 - Studies relating to various aspects of employment.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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