ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2006-06 > 1149755675
From: Steve <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Re: Access to registers
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2006 09:34:35 +0100
References: <000d01c68a60$892562a0$36560252@COOPER> <027501c68a67$e38dbf60$0202a8c0@Vaio>
Are you reading the same posting that I am?
"With modern records (those relating to people **born** less than 100
Not dead for 100 years.
Plus the proposals as written would give greater access than we have now.
> What an absurd and self serving definition of privacy our government
> Its perfectly ok for them to get private contractors to dig up our
> ancestors' 75 year old bodies, yet claim it would be an infringement
> of their privacy to allow us to dig out their death register entries
> until they've been dead for 100 years!!!
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "jackycooper.clav78" Sent:
> Wednesday, June 07,
>> I got quite hopeful a while back, having heard that reform was being
>> proposed about access to registers - but I guess getting an
>> extortionate £8 (with regular increases) from family historians for
>> every certificate is too tempting for the General Register Office to
>> give up. A friend of mine (who was hoping to carry out a serious
>> research project and needed information from the actual entries) got
>> the up to date position on this from the GRO so am passing on for the
>> info of listers. It is quite disgraceful that bona fide researchers
>> doing projects on, for instance, epidemics, cannot get access to the
>> data contained only within these records unless they pay £8 a time.
>> My friend is trying to get the British Association for Local History
>> to pursue the matter, but individual historians can also write to
>> their MPs, the GRO, the National Archives, etc if they feel strongly:
>> Jacky Cooper
>> Re access to records in custody of local registrars:
>> The Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 and
>> the Marriage Act 1949 are specific about the manner in which
>> information is accessed. The Acts require the superintendent
>> registrar (and
>> the Registrar General) to produce indexes of all records that they hold.
>> Anyone is entitled to search the indexes and purchase a copy of a
>> certificate of any register entry of a birth, death or marriage
>> on payment of the statutory fee. Registration information, unless
>> for in other law, cannot be disclosed in any other way. Therefore the
>> superintendent registrar is acting within the confines of the current
>> legislation by refusing access to the registers.
>> The legislation does not provide for any discretion.
>> Re proposals to change the law:
>> The White Paper 'Civil Registration: Vital Change' published in January
>> 2002 proposed a raft of changes including the introduction of a new
>> framework for accessing civil registration records. The proposal
>> distinguished between modern and historic records. With modern records
>> (those relating to people born less than 100 years ago) the majority
>> of the
>> registration information was to be made available and more
>> accessible. With
>> the historic records it was proposed that records for people born
>> over 100
>> years ago, whether living or deceased, would be made fully available,
>> without the need to purchase certificates and without access
>> although there may have been a charge to access the information. It was
>> also intended that the information be made available in electronic form.
>> The legislative route for making the changes described above was an
>> made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001. A draft Order was
>> presented in
>> July 2004 but in December 2004 the Regulatory Reform Committees that
>> scrutinise the orders reported that the proposed changes were too
>> large and
>> complex to be taken forward by means of a Regulatory Reform Order.
>> Following the decision made by the Regulatory Reform Committees the
>> Government announced that it remains committed to the modernisation
>> of the
>> local registration service in England and Wales. In this respect the
>> Government has been considering how it can take forward the
>> reforms in other ways. However, many of the changes, including that
>> of the
>> proposed new access framework will require primary legislation, the
>> Government will keep under review the need for legislation on this and
>> other aspects of civil registration.
>> Other changes can and are being progressed under existing legislation. A
>> web based system is being introduced to enable registrars to enter
>> of birth, still-birth and death registrations on-line and allow local
>> printing of individual register pages and certificates.
>> Re Digitisation of older registers
>> GRO has embarked on a project to digitise all birth, death and
>> marriage records dating back to 1837 in order to build a computerised,
>> central database. However, access to the information will still be
>> via the
>> purchase of a certificate. Below a timeline for the
>> digitisation project:
>> October 2005 Go Live date for microfilm scanning
>> January 2006 First sub block delivered to GRO for Quality
>> May 2006 50% of Historic Birth records completed
>> July 2006 Balance of Historic Birth records completed
>> October 2006 Historic Death records completed
>> May 2007 Modern Birth records completed
>> September 2007 Modern Death records completed
>> December 2007 Historic Marriage records completed
>> May 2008 Modern Marriage records and Still Birth records
>> DoVE Project Update
>> It is anticipated that the project will be completed in the summer of
>> but regular bulletins on digitisation of records will be provided on the
>> GRO website to keep customers updated on the progress of the project.
>> Further information can be found at
>> The DOVE GRO contact is Steve Lloyd. His e-mail address is
>> GRO information from:
>> Lesley Unsworth
>> Civil Registration Review Project
>> General Register Office
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