In March 2014 the Cabinet Secretary asked Sir Alex Allan to carry out a review to establish the position across government on:
- the annual release of papers
- the ability and readiness of departments to meet the requirements of moving from a 30 to a 20 year rule
- the processes for withholding information where release would harm individuals or the national interest.
The review was commissioned by the Prime Minister following the investigation into the publication in January 2014 of material from 2 documents released by the Cabinet Office under the Public Records Act relating to the Indian operation at Sri Harmandir Sahib, also called the Golden Temple, in Amritsar in June 1984.
It covers records from UK government departments but not from the Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland governments or the intelligence agencies.