§ Mr. Dhanda
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when birth, marriage and death certificates will begin to be digitised; 
(2) what plans he has to digitise existing birth, marriage and death certificates. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Dhanda, dated 19 November 2002:As Registrar General and National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent questions about what plans there are to digitise existing birth, marriage and death certificates and when birth, marriage and death certificates will begin to be digitised. (81780, 81781)The Government's proposals for modernising civil registration in England and Wales are contained in the White Paper "Civil Registration: Vital Change" published on 22 January 2002. One of the proposals in the White Paper is that both modern and historic records should be computerized.It has been announced that provisions contained in the Regulatory Reform Act 2002 will be used to amend the law to allow for the computerisation of these records. In line with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform Act, a consultation document setting out the proposals in more detail is due to be published in summer 2003. If the proposals are accepted it is expected that the new legislation will be in place by the end of 2004. Once the legislation is in place the process to digitise the birth, marriage and death certificates can begin.