HC Deb 11 June 1997 vol 295 c465W
Mr. Baker

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what percentage and how many documents in 1996 he estimates were(a) passed on to the Public Record Office intact, (b) passed on to the Public Record Office in censored form, (c) retained by his Department in full, (d) retained by his Department in part, (e) destroyed, (f) otherwise disposed of, and (g) otherwise unaccounted for. [2507]

Dr. David Clark

No document falls due for transfer to the Public Record Office until it is 30 years old. The suitability of a document for selection for permanent preservation under the terms of the Public Records Act 1958 will be reviewed during that period. The Act does not require statistics to be kept in the form requested. To do so would incur disproportionate cost. However, in order to comply with their duties under the Act, departments are obliged to make arrangements for the safekeeping of their records, with a view to their possible selection and possible transfer to the Pubic Record Office and eventual release to the public. The general arrangements for extended closure or retention of public records are set out in Chapter 9 of the White Paper on Open Government of July 1993 (Cmnd. 2290).