Archived papers released

Release of Scottish Executive papers from the year 2001.

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

Included in files now publicly available is information about the resignation of Henry McLeish as First Minister and the appointment of Jack McConnell as his successor. Other papers include discussion about introducing proportional representation for local elections, reform of free personal care for the elderly and Scotland’s bid to host Euro 2008.          

These files form part of the annual release of archived information by the Scottish Government. Since 2009 the Scottish Government has proactively opened almost 14,000 files at 15 years. 

Tim Ellis, Chief Executive of NRS and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said  “Preserving Scottish Government records and making them available to the public is a key part of our role at the National Records of Scotland, and this annual release of information can give us a fascinating insight into our recent history.

“In addition to a change of First Minister, 2001 saw considerable activity across a wide range of policy areas.  I have no doubt that the papers now available will be very interesting reading to a great many people.” 

Minister for Parliamentary Business Joe FitzPatrick said: “Traditionally, we have had a lot of interest in the annual release of Scottish Government archives, and this year promises to be no different.

“The archives give the public greater insight into the pressing issues and discourse of the time, and their release further strengthens our position as an open and transparent government.”


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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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