Archived papers released

Release of Scottish Executive papers from the year 2002.

Files at the National Records of Scotland, opened for the first time, show details about the third full year of operation of the then Scottish Executive.  

The records cover the first full year of Jack McConnell’s time in office as Scotland’s First Minister. Papers cover the full range of Government activity at the time and include information on health, justice, rural affairs and finance. 

Since 2009 – as part of its wider commitment to increasing openness and transparency - the Scottish Government has proactively opened files at 15 years.

Tim Ellis, Chief Executive of NRS and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said “Scottish Government records are important for our understanding of our recent history, and preserving them and making them available to the public is a key part of our role at the National Records of Scotland.

“With proposals for a smacking ban, discussions on funding for school and prison buildings, and the introduction of a ban on fox hunting and hare coursing, 2002 saw activity across a wide range of policy areas which are still relevant today.”

Minister for Parliamentary Business Joe FitzPatrick said:

“The annual file release attracts considerable interest – from journalists, researchers and, more generally, anyone with an interest in Scotland and Scottish politics.  

“The vast resource of information made available for public inspection at the National Records of Scotland also acts as a clear demonstration of this Government’s commitment to continue to strengthen the culture of openness and transparency in Scotland”.


Notes for Editors  

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 provides a right of access to information held by Scottish public authorities (unless certain exemptions apply, for example for national security or personal data). 

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (Historical Periods) Order 2013 effective from 1 April 2014 reduces the period of time at which a record becomes ‘historical’ from 30 years to 15 years.  This has the effect of meaning that most key exemptions, for example, for UK relations, policy formulation and commercial interests cannot be applied to information older than 15 years.

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) plays a central role in the cultural, social and economic life of Scotland, supporting several of the Scottish Government’s key National Outcomes.  NRS has responsibility for the archival functions of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland including maintaining the archives as one of Scotland’s five National Collections.

Information about the National Records of Scotland can be found at


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