King's Printer for Scotland: annual report 2022 to 2023

King's Printer for Scotland (KPS) yearly report covering the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

The role of King's Printer for Scotland

1.1 The role of the King’s Printer for Scotland (KPS)[1] was established under section 92 of the Scotland Act 1998 as a non-ministerial office holder and member of staff of the Scottish Administration, with effect from 1 July 1999.

1.2  The Scotland Act states that the office of King’s Printer for Scotland shall be held by the King’s Printer for Acts of Parliament. These offices are held by the Keeper of Public Records; the Chief Executive of The National Archives, Jeff James, who was appointed as King’s Printer for Acts of Parliament on 1 July 2017 by Letters Patent. The functions of the KPS are carried out from within The National Archives.

1.3 The KPS is responsible for overseeing the publication of primary and secondary Scottish legislation, the production and publication of Explanatory Notes to Acts of the Scottish Parliament (ASPs), and the publication of lists, including amendment lists, and annual editions of instruments. The KPS has also published Policy Notes for Scottish Statutory Instruments (SSIs), since October 2012.

1.4 The detailed provisions for the publication and preservation of ASPs are set out in the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. The Scottish Statutory Instruments Regulations 2011 set out the detailed requirements for SSIs under this Act.[4]

1.5 Broader issues affecting primary legislation are considered through bi-annual meetings of the Primary Legislation Group, attended by the Scottish Chief Parliamentary Counsel, and the holders of the equivalent role for the UK, Wales and Northern Ireland. These meetings are convened and chaired by the KPS and are a forum for sharing information about the legislative programmes of the jurisdictions and updates about the developments made to the publishing, editorial and online services.

1.6 The status of the KPS, as a Public Authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOI(S)A), involves several compliance obligations. The KPS Publication Scheme is available on the Scottish Government website. KPS also has to respond to FOI(S)A access requests and provide data on these requests to the Scottish Information Commissioner.         

1.7 Under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011, the KPS has to have in place a records management plan that is subject to periodic scrutiny by the National Records of Scotland. 

1.8 Under section 92(3) of the Scotland Act 1998, the King’s Printer manages the Crown’s copyright in respect of ASPs, SSIs and material created by or assigned to the Scottish Government. The KPS has an agreement in place to provide copyright and licensing advice to the Scottish Parliament.


[1] Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II the office of Queen’s Printer for Scotland (and all associated references to the Sovereign) was retitled under section 10 of the Interpretation Act 1978 c. 30



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