National Archives
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20-year rule comes into force

As of 1 January 2013, the government has begun 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, from 30 to 20 years, the point at which public records are transferred to The National Archives over a 10-year transition period, and in parallel reduces the lifespan of certain Freedom of Information Act 2000 exemptions.

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 to us each year until 2023 when we will receive records from 2003.

Read more about the 20-year rule.

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