Management of The National Archives Legislation email address

FOI request reference: F0045987
Publication date: June 2016

Request:

Information Required

  1. The numbers of emails received by the National Archives at the address legislation@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk per year, for the last three complete years that figures are held.
  1. The numbers of such emails, if any, that have received a considered response, for the last three complete years that figures are held.
  1. The numbers of staff (FTEs), if any, reading / responding to such emails.
  1. The criteria, if any, for deciding which legislation should be digitised and uploaded to legislation.gov.uk
  1. The criteria / communication strategy / protocol or suchlike, if any, setting out standards for National Archives staff communicating with the public electronically.

Outcome:

Partially successful

Response:

Thank you for your enquiry of 2 June 2016, in which you asked for information about emails received by Legislation Services at The National Archives.

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

I can confirm that The National Archives holds some of the information you have requested.

We are pleased to be able to provide you with information about the numbers of staff (FTEs) reading / responding to emails, and standards for National Archives staff communicating with the public electronically, in the attached Annex.

Section 21 of the FOIA does not oblige a public authority to provide information if it is already reasonably accessible by other means. Information about the criteria for deciding which legislation should be digitised and uploaded to legislation.gov.uk is already available on that website. Please use the following link for further information: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/help#aboutLeg

Finally, we are unable to provide you with the numbers of emails received by the legislation@nationalarchives email address, or the responses to those emails, over the last three complete years, because we do not hold this information. However, where possible we have provided additional information which we hope will be useful to you.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request or the decision which has been reached, you have the right to ask for an internal review.  Internal review requests must be submitted within two months of the date of this response and should be addressed to:

Quality Manager
Public Services Development Unit
The National Archives
Kew
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 4DU
complaints@nationalarchives.gov.uk

Please mark your complaint clearly.  You have the right to ask the Information Commissioner (ICO) to investigate any aspect of your complaint.  However, please note that the ICO is likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have been exhausted before beginning his investigation.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Assessor
Freedom of Information Centre
Transfer and Access Department
The National Archives

Explanatory Annex

Your request in full

1. The numbers of emails received by the National Archives at the address legislation@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk per year, for the last three complete years that figures are held.

2. The numbers of such emails, if any, that have received a considered response, for the last three complete years that figures are held.

3. The numbers of staff (FTEs), if any, reading / responding to such emails.

4. The criteria, if any, for deciding which legislation should be digitised and uploaded to legislation.gov.uk

5. The criteria / communication strategy / protocol or suchlike, if any, setting out standards for National Archives staff communicating with the public electronically.

Please see below for answers to your questions in numerical order:

1. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with figures of the number of emails received by The National Archives at the address legislation@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk (Legislation Services inbox), as The National Archives does not record this information.

2. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with figures of the number of emails that have received a considered response over the last three years, as The National Archives does not record this information.

Below we have outlined our standard handling of emails and communications received into the Legislation Services inbox.

Apart from spam, junk and sales emails (which are deleted, often automatically), we provide a considered response to all emails received into the Legislation Services inbox. Where the enquiry does not relate to our remit (which is to oversee the publication of legislation) we aim to point people in the direction of organisations that can help. Our automated response reflects this, giving information about legislation.gov.uk, how to contact your local council, and how to access legislation that is not available on the legislation.gov.uk website.

3. Reading and responding to the Legislation Services inbox emails is estimated to be the equivalent of 0.5% of one full time employee post within the Legislation Services team.

4. Because this information is already available on legislation.gov.uk, it is exempt from release under section 21 FOIA: Information readily available to the applicant by other means.

Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) does not oblige a public authority to provide information if it is already reasonably accessible by other means.

In this case the exemption applies because the information is already available at:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/help#aboutLeg

Further guidance on section 21 FOIA can be found at:
http://ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/library/Freedom_of_Information/Detailed_specialist_guides/information-reasonably-accessible-to-the-applicant-by-other-means-sec21.pdf

Legislation.gov.uk carries most, but not all, types of legislation and their accompanying explanatory documents. What is and is not available is set out online, including how to access legislation that is not on legislation.gov.uk, please use the link provided above for more information.

Almost all legislation from 1988 to present day is available on legislation.gov.uk and most pre-1988 primary legislation is available. In some cases we only have the original published (as enacted) version and no revised version. This occurs if the legislation was wholly repealed before 1991 and therefore was not included in the revised data set when it was extracted from Statutes in Force. In other cases we may only have a revised version if the original (as enacted) version is not available in a web-publishable format.

If legislation is not on legislation.gov.uk there are two main reasons why. It may be that we do not carry the item of legislation because it is not available in a web publishable format or because it was repealed before our base date of 1991 or was for some other reason not included in the earlier hard-copy editions of the revised statutes. There are a small number of Acts for which we do not carry revised versions on the website for technical reasons. We hope to include these in the near future. These Acts are:

1. 1992 c. 12 Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992
2. 1990 c. 1 Capital Allowances Act 1990
3. 1988 c. 1 Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988
4. 1970 c. 9 Taxes Management Act 1970
5. The National Archives aims to respond to general enquiries within 10 working days. This criterion is set out on our contact form: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/contactform.asp?id

If you would like to contact us again regarding
this request, please contact the helpdesk:
via e-mail: By replying to this e-mail
or (020 8876 3444)
Remember to quote your call reference number: F0045987 in any
correspondence, as this will assist us in providing you with a
quick response.

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk