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The National Archives reports to the Lord Chancellor. On policy matters concerning The National Archives and public and other records the Lord Chancellor relies on advice from the Chief Executive of The National Archives, and from officials in the Ministry of Justice. For independent advice on questions relating to access to public records he refers to the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives.

The Advisory Council's role

  • The Council advises the Lord Chancellor on issues relating to public records that are over thirty years old, including public access to them, at the point of transfer to The National Archives.
  • The Advisory Council advises on requests by government departments to keep their records.
  • The Council also advises the Lord Chancellor on the public interest when departments want to keep historical records closed under certain exemptions.
  • The Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Academic Research, a subcommittee of the Advisory Council (set up in May 2010), considers and provides advice to the Lord Chancellor on, matters relating to historical manuscripts, records and archives, other than the public records.

Further information on the Advisory Council's role and functions (PDF, 0.06Mb)

Triennial Review of the Advisory Council

In a written ministerial statement on 17 July, Helen Grant MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, announced a Triennial Review of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives. The review will be carried out by officials from The National Archives. Find further information about the review.

Advisory Council reports

The Advisory Council reports to the Lord Chancellor every year. This is published with the annual report of The National Archives.

Read the Advisory Council report 2013-14 (PDF, 0.10Mb)

Read the Advisory Council report 2012-13 (PDF, 0.10Mb)

Read the Advisory Council report 2011-12 (PDF, 0.06Mb)

Read the Advisory Council report 2010-11 (PDF, 0.06Mb)

Read the Advisory Council report 2009-10 (PDF, 0.04Mb)

Read the Advisory Council report 2008-09 (PDF, 0.10Mb)

Read the Advisory Council report 2007-08 (PDF, 0.05Mb)

Read the Advisory Council report 2006-07 (PDF, 0.05Mb)

Read the Advisory Council report 2005-06 (PDF, 0.05Mb)

Contact details

If you have any questions about the Advisory Council or would like to make a Freedom of Information request, please contact:

The Secretary
Advisory Council on National Records and Archives
The National Archives
Kew, Richmond
Surrey TW9 4DU

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8392 5337

Email: Advisory Council Secretary

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