Freedom of Information Bill - continued        House of Commons

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Functions of Advisory Council on Public Records
     1. In section 1 of the Public Records Act 1958 (general responsibility of the Lord Chancellor for public records), after subsection (2) there is inserted-
    "(2A) The matters on which the Advisory Council on Public Records may advise the Lord Chancellor include matters relating to the application of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to information contained in public records which are historical records within the meaning of Part VI of that Act."
Access to public records
     2. - (1) Section 5 of that Act (access to public records) is amended in accordance with this paragraph.
      (2) Subsections (1) and (2) are omitted.
      (3) For subsection (3) there is substituted-
    "(3) It shall be the duty of the Keeper of Public Records to arrange that reasonable facilities are available to the public for inspecting and obtaining copies of those public records in the Public Record Office which fall to be disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000."
      (4) Subsection (4) and, in subsection (5), the words from "and subject to" to the end are omitted.
     3. Schedule 2 of that Act (enactments prohibiting disclosure of information obtained from the public) is omitted.
Power to extend meaning of "public records"
     4. In Schedule 1 to that Act (definition of public records) after the Table at the end of paragraph 3 there is inserted-
    "3A. - (1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council amend the Table at the end of paragraph 3 of this Schedule by adding to either Part of the Table an entry relating to any body or establishment-
    (a) which, at the time when the Order is made, is specified in Schedule 2 to the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 (departments, etc. subject to investigation), or
    (b) in respect of which an entry could, at that time, be added to Schedule 2 to that Act by an Order in Council under section 4 of that Act (which confers power to amend that Schedule).
      (2) An Order in Council under this paragraph may relate to a specified body or establishment or to bodies or establishments falling within a specified description.
      (3) An Order in Council under this paragraph shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament."
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Prepared 19 November 1999