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Simplification of public bodies
Ministers have asked the General Register Office for Scotland, National Archives of Scotland and Registers of Scotland to explore the benefits of amalgamation.
A merger of the three bodies has the potential to deliver savings for the taxpayer while maintaining the high level of services provided.
Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said:
"The Scottish Government has been acting to make our public services simpler, sharper, better co-ordinated and more responsive. We are doing this at a time when it has never been more important to maximise the value of public spending in Scotland.
"We are asking the General Register Office for Scotland, National Archives of Scotland and Registers of Scotland to work together to explore ways of working more closely together, and the potential of amalgamation.
"This proposal underlines the Government's commitment to simplifying the public bodies landscape in Scotland. Our Simplification Programme has already delivered a reduction in the number of public bodies from a baseline of 199 to 154. We are on track to reduce this further to around 120 in 2011, as well as delivering estimated net savings of around 125 million pounds by 2013 and net recurring annual savings of around 39 million pounds thereafter.
"While the General Register Office for Scotland, National Archives of Scotland and Registers of Scotland all deliver important public services effectively, conducting an evaluation of the best way of delivering their functions in future is the right and proper action for the times."