Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Public Records

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 20th February 2019.

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Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment and Rural Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many records his Department holds that have reached the time limit for their transfer to the National Archives but have not been transferred.

Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The volume of BEIS’ legacy public records that predate 1994 is currently being reassessed as part of the annual Information Management Report. The deadline for this report is 1st March 2019 which, when published, will provide exact figures on how many legacy records BEIS holds and how many of those are agreed for transfer to The National Archives (TNA).

However, internal analysis took place in late 2018 and showed that 3853 records have been reviewed and are agreed for transfer to TNA. In addition to these, 2611 have reached their time limit but have yet to be reviewed and 10125 records have been reviewed and selected for destruction.

TNA records show that all BEIS legacy records are held under a Retention Instrument (RI) covering 10599 BIS records and 1635 DECC records (RI 130, signed 20th December 2017, expires 31st December 2019). This information is published by TNA and is therefore publicly available. Following the machinery of government changes in July 2016, which occurred following the general election, a number of these records transferred out of BEIS to Other Government Departments and the remaining records are/have been reviewed as part of the plan to reduce our legacy records (i.e. those older than the maximum period records can be retained for) and, so far, the total has reduced by over 60%. The plan to address the backlog was agreed by TNA and published, and we have since been providing updates to the Advisory Council and will be expected to provide a full update again in July 2019.

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