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Move to 20-year rule begins
17 January 2013
From 1 January 2013, the government begins its move towards releasing records when they are 20 years old, instead of 30.
A Commencement Order that brings into force the relevant parts of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, plus two transition orders, have all been signed and laid in Parliament by Lord McNally, the Minister responsible for the 20-year rule.
This secondary legislation reduces the point at which public records are transferred to The National Archives from 30 to 20 years. It also reduces the lifespan of certain Freedom of Information Act 2000 exemptions.
Over a ten-year transition period, The National Archives will work with government departments to speed up the process of files transferred under the 30-year rule, receiving double the amount of files each year, to prepare for the transfer of records under the 20-year rule.
This means that during 2013 The National Archives will receive records from 1983 and 1984. Then, two further years' worth of government records will be transferred each year until 2023 when we will receive records from 2003.
Read more about the 20-year rule.
The introduction of a 20-year rule is a key part of the government's transparency agenda and The National Archives is helping to manage this change. View the data we are publishing on the volume of records from government departments which are due to be transferred to us.
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