Policy paper

Government response to the 30-year rule Review

This publication was published under the 2005 to 2010 Labour government

This document contains the following information: Government response to the 30-year rule Review.

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This document contains the following information: Government response to the 30-year rule Review.

The 30 year rule governs the point at which records of lasting historical value are normally transferred to the National Archives and made available to the public. The Review recommended a reduction of the rule to 15 years, but the Government has chosen a reduction to 20 years. It feels this gives a better balance between openness, affordability and the protection of information which, if released prematurely, could harm good government and be contrary to the public interest. The new limit will be introduced gradually, with departments and other public bodies reviewing an extra year’s worth of records each year until the transition to the new rule is complete. The Review also made recommendations about how the Government manages it records and on how any change to current practices should be implemented and monitored. The Government accepts almost all of these recommendations beyond the length of the new rule.

This Command Paper was laid before Parliament by a Government Minister by Command of Her Majesty. Command Papers are considered by the Government to be of interest to Parliament but are not required to be presented by legislation.