Legislation documents

FOI request reference: F0043897
Publication date: December 2015

Request:

My questions relate to each of the three documents (A, B & C) which are given to public access via the website www.legislation.gov.uk.

  1. Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 B. Taxes Management Act 1970 C. Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 My questions follow.

1.Why is there only, the original enacted version of A,B,C on the website and there is no updated version or information about updates.

2.If a member of the public wanted to access full, updated copies of A,B,C including all updates (as added from time to time) how would this be achieved (online? hours available?).

3.Kindly provide copies of correspondence and other documents regarding decisions to not provide updated versions of A,B,C. In particular from or to HMRC (including its previous name, Inland Revenue) or the UK Treasury or the UK Ministry of Justice is requested.

4.When was this decision (to not provide updated access) reviewed.

5.How many requests from the general public concerning access to A,B,C.

Outcome:

Partially successful

Response:

  1. Why is there only, the original enacted version of A, B, C on the website and there is no updated version or information about updates.

The official versions of legislation as they receive Royal Assent are the basis of the statue book. UK legislation is published under the authority of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and Queen’s Printer of Act of Parliament, who is based within The National Archives.

All legislation held on legislation.gov.uk in revised form has been updated with effects of legislation made up to 2002 (at a minimum). If we do not have legislation updated with effects of legislation made up to 2002 we publish the as enacted version.

We are in the process of updating Acts A, B and C. As soon as they are updated to 2002, they will be published in revised form on legislation.gov.uk. The outstanding amendments from 2002 to date will be presented in a drop down box in the ‘changes to legislation’ banner. You can click on each outstanding amendment to see what the changes are.  We will then continue to work through the outstanding amendments from 2002 to date. When all amendments have been applied, the ‘changes to legislation’ banner will change from red to green.

Before 2009, primary legislation was revised by the Statute Law Database team (which was based in the Ministry of Justice) and some departments (including HMRC) updated their own legislation. The Statute Law Database team de-prioritised revising Acts A, B and C because they were being regularly revised by HMRC, and HMRC were to provide downloads of the data to publish on the Statute Law Database website.

When the HMRC team responsible disbanded, no data for Acts A, B and C was available. In 2009, the work to research, apply and review amendments to the three Acts in question was brought in-house to The National Archives. We have updated all three Acts to 1993, and are in the process of updating the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 c. 1 to 2002.

Parliaments make around 15,000 changes to legislation every year. In 2009, The National Archives had the resources to apply around 10,000 of them. To address this challenge, The National Archives has developed editorial tools and processes for rapidly revising legislation. We have gathered data about all the amendments made across the statute book, which we are now using to speed the process of revising legislation.

These new editorial tools and processes will be used to update these three Acts and to publish up-to-date versions on legislation.gov.uk. Given the size of Acts A, B and C and the high volume of amendments that need to be applied and reviewed (over 16,500), this is a considerable task. Our intention is to prioritise this work during 2016.

There is information on legislation.gov.uk about amendments to these Acts made post-1994. You can view them using the ‘changes to legislation’ function on legislation.gov.uk (these amendments have not yet been applied). See:

  1. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/changes/affected/all/1992/12
  2. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/changes/affected/all/1970/9
  3. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/changes/affected/all/1988/1

Pre-1994 amendments to these Acts are not available online. You can find these amendments in the printed Chronological Tables of the Statutes (available from some public libraries, law libraries and university libraries) and you can find a list of all amendments made by year in the printed Annual Bound Volumes of legislation, available from the same sources.

  1. If a member of the public wanted to access full, updated copies of A,B,C including all updates (as added from time to time) how would this be achieved (online? hours available?).

Online revised versions of Acts A, B and C are currently available from commercial legal publishers. However, print publications such as Halsbury’s Statutes of England and Wales contain revised legislation (see: http://www.lexisnexis.co.uk/en-uk/products/halsburys-statutes-of-england-and-wales.page) and are available from the British Library, and from the six legal deposit libraries whose addresses are below:

The British Library
www.bl.uk
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
0870 444 1500

The Bodleian Library, Oxford
www.bodley.ox.ac.uk
Bodleian Library
Broad Street, Oxford OX13BG
01865 277 000

The University Library, Cambridge
www.lib.cam.ac.uk
West Road
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 9EF
01223 333 000

The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
www.nls.uk
33 Salisbury Place
Edinburgh EH9 1SL
0131 623 3700

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
(Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru)
www.llgc.org.uk
Penglais
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3BU
01970 632 800

The Library of Trinity College, Dublin
www.tcd.ie
2 College Green
2, Co. Dublin, Ireland
01 8961000

The Main Library – The Queen’s University of Belfast
www.qub.ac.uk
University Square
Belfast
BT7 1LS
Tel: 028 9027 3605

(Although not an official deposit library, Queen’s University in Belfast provides a legal deposit service for Northern Ireland).

  1. Kindly provide copies of correspondence and other documents regarding decisions to not provide updated versions of A,B,C. In particular from or to HMRC (including its previous name, Inland Revenue) or the UK Treasury or the UK Ministry of Justice is requested.
  1. When was this decision (to not provide updated access) reviewed?

As detailed in our answer to your first question, the versions of Acts A, B and C are to be updated on the legislation.co.uk website. At no point in the process was there a decision taken to not update the versions of these Acts.

  1. How many requests from the general public concerning access to A, B, C.

We do not record the number of enquiries we receive about specific items of legislation and so we cannot provide you with this information. Legislation.gov.uk is visited by over 2 million people each month. It makes the UK statute book available as open data for people to take, use and re-use for whatever purpose or application they wish.