To ask the Lord President of the Council what percentage of and how many documents in 1989 he estimates were (a) passed on to the Public Record Office intact, (b) passed on to the Public Record Office in censored form, (c) retained by his Department in full, (d) retained by his Department in part, (e) destroyed, (f) otherwise disposed of and (g) otherwise unaccounted for.
No Privy Council Office document falls due for selection and transfer to the Public Record Office until it is at least 30 years old. A document's suitability for permanent preservation under the terms of the Public Records Act 1958 will be reviewed during that period. The Act does not require statistics to be kept in the form requested and to do so would inevitably incur disproportionate cost. However, in order to comply with the duties under the Act, my Department ensures all documentary records are properly preserved with a view to possible transfer to the Public Record Office and eventual release to the public.
To ask the Lord President of the Council what criteria he uses when deciding which documents to pass on to the Public Record Office.
The Privy Council Office complies with the guidelines issued by the Public Record Office on the selection of documents for permanent preservation.
To ask the Lord President of the Council what system he employs to classify, log and otherwise record each document generated by his Department; and if he will make a statement.
The Privy Council Office registry operates a numerical cataloguing system to classify and record documents by subject matter, for example, the relevant Act of Parliament in the case of papers relating to the discharge of statutory function, or the name of the relevant organisation in the case of charter matters. My office and that of the Lord Privy Seal have separate sub-systems for registering papers, also by subject.