King's Printer for Scotland: annual report 2021 to 2022

King's Printer for Scotland (KPS) yearly report covering the period from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

How KPS works

Publishing legislation

2.1 The statutory requirements to print, publish and distribute Scottish legislation and associated products are delivered by the Legislation Services team at The National Archives, and through a commercial contract with a supplier. This legislation contract is currently awarded to The Stationery Office, part of Williams Lea. The contract sets out the specifications and timescales that need to be adhered to for the publication of new ASPs and SSIs both digitally and in print.

2.2 Scottish legislation and associated documents are published via the online publishing system, which is used by legislation drafters in the Scottish government to validate secondary legislation and submit documents for publication, and by the KPS and its contractor to manage all the steps of the publishing process. The system assures the integrity of the data published on by recording the process through a publishing audit trail. The publishing system is also used to register SSIs – a process that involves automatic and manual checks to ensure that documents meet the criteria for publication and that the documents are correctly numbered and can be accurately cited.

2.3 Scottish drafters currently use a range of Word templates to draft legislation. In 2021-22, ASPs were drafted either using a Word based template, but also increasingly by using the new legislation drafting, authoring and amending tool – Lawmaker – which is managed by The National Archives. The aim is to draft 100% of Scottish Bills using Lawmaker by the end of 2022-23.

2.4 SSIs are currently mostly drafted using a bespoke Secondary Legislation drafting Word template, created and maintained by KPS. Before legislation can be published online and printed, these Word files have to be converted into Crown Legislation Markup Language (CLML) - the open standard format for legislation data specified by the KPS. This conversion process is carried out under the legislation contract and is largely automated, with manual quality control and correction by the supplier as required. Lawmaker also allows the drafting of secondary legislation, with the aim of ultimately replacing the Word template for SSI drafting.

2.5 Legislation as it is originally enacted or made, and in a revised form showing how it has changed over time, is published on Scottish legislation is published on a different site. The website also makes available Acts of the Old Scottish Parliament (AOSPs). If required, as-enacted or made Scottish legislation is also printed and made available for purchase.

2.6 The website serves around 23 million page views each month, and an average of 1.5 million users per month in 2021-22, down from an average of 2 million the previous year, driven by high public interest in pandemic legislation, but still higher than pre-pandemic usage. Users include legal professionals, non-legal trained professionals, government staff, academics and members of the public. The site has been carefully designed to help non-legally trained users to understand the status of the legislation they are looking at – whether the legislation is in force, up to date and applies to where they live. Users can also find ‘point in time’ versions of legislation showing how the law stood at a particular point in time by viewing a timeline of changes. This is an example.

2.7 In addition to online and print publishing, legislation data is available for re-use in a variety of formats. To make data extraction easier, all legislation search result pages are available as ATOM feeds by adding “/data.feed” to the link. For example, the relevant feed for the search result page can be researched by using the web address

2.8 Content on the website is available for re-use under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated. This site additionally now contains legislation originating from the European Union, captured under the King’s Printer’s duty to publish EU legislation under Schedule 5 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

Publishing lists and annual editions

2.9 The Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 provides for the publication of lists and annual editions of Scottish legislation. This provision is managed by a specialist editorial team and through the services provided under the contract.

2.10 When new ASPs and SSIs are published, legislation editors analyse their impact on existing legislation, as well as identifying key contextual information such as the jurisdictional extent and commencement date(s). These changes can impact the text of existing legislation; or alter the scope or application of existing legislation without changing the text at all. All changes, commencement information and extent information is captured in a bespoke editorial system. Outstanding changes are published and searchable via the changes to legislation’ page or by selecting the drop down lists of amendments in the Outstanding Changes alert boxes that are displayed above the text of any affected primary legislation.  For example, you can see a list of changes to impacted ASPs and a list of changes to SSIs

2.11 The production of printed Bound Volumes of ASPs and SSIs is delivered through the legislation contract with The Stationery Office. The volumes also include Tables of Effects, which show the changes made by any UK or Scottish legislation on previously enacted ASPs and SSIs. In order to generate these lists, as well as to update legislation on, all new legislation is monitored for new amendments, which are identified and recorded by the Legislation Services editorial team.



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