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Thursday 23 March 2017

Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 - Assessment Process


The Keeper of the Records of Scotland (Keeper) will operate a rolling programme of invitations to named public authorities under the Act inviting them to submit their records management plans (RMPs) with a view to scrutinising and agreeing them. The process of scrutinising all the RMPs is likely to take some time and the rolling programme will run for a maximum period of 5 years.

A copy of the Keeper's rolling programme of invitations to public authorities requesting the submission of their RMPs will be published here six months in advance.

The Keeper will allow a period of time between the formal invitation to submit a RMP and its submission. This will allow the National Records of Scotland (NRS) implementation team to engage with authorities over particular aspects of their plans. The team will seek to provide assistance as necessary and help facilitate more robust submissions.

Each named authority must ensure that they have identified the member of staff who will be responsible for implementing their RMP (the 'Key Contact'). The Key Contact should contact the NRS implementation team with a view to anticipating a letter of invitation, and make themselves familiar with the Keeper's model RMP.

Once a RMP has been submitted to the Keeper, it will be reviewed by the implementation team. Time has been set aside for further discussion with the Key Contact and for any further evidence to be requested as required. On completion of the process, a copy of the draft formal report will be sent to the public authority for comment and to help identify any factual inaccuracies. The Keeper's report carrying his decision regarding the authority's RMP will be published to the website of the NRS.

The Keeper is empowered under 4.3 (b) of the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 to return a plan without agreement if he considers that it does not set out proper arrangements for the management of the authority's public records. The Keeper must consult with the authority if he is considering this step and have regard to any representations it may make. He will explain his reasons for his decision to consider returning a plan and may suggest modifications that would, if implemented, allow agreement. Only, if the Keeper's suggested modifications are not implemented or a revised plan is not forthcoming, would the Keeper seek to invoke the action notice powers provided for under section 7 of the Act. If the authority fails to comply with any of the requirements of the action notice, the Keeper can under Section 7(5) of the Act "take such steps as the Keeper considers appropriate to publicise the failure".

Authorities who fail to submit a records management plan when requested by the Keeper, or who fail to modify their plan for resubmission when it has been returned, may be deemed to have failed in their obligations under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011. The Keeper is obliged to report any such failure to Scottish Ministers.

Once each plan is agreed, the Keeper will encourage the authority to publish it (or a redacted version) on their website. If this is not appropriate, the Keeper may request that the plan be published on the NRS website.


The following is the proposed timetable of invitation for Scottish Public Authorities for the next six-month period. This is a 'live' document and will be subject to continuous updating. The timetable will change monthly as new authorities are added to the programme.


Invitation to be sent

Public Authority

September 2014 Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd
David McBrayne Ltd
October 2014

Health Scotland Board
Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Scottish Health Council

November 2014 North Ayrshire Council
North Ayrshire Licensing Board
West Dunbartonshire Council
West Dunbartonshire Licensing Board
December 2014 Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland
HM Chief Inspector of Prosecution in Scotland
Standards Commission for Scotland
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (formerly Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland)
Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland (legal name)- aka - Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland
January 2015

Scottish Commission for Human Rights
City of Edinburgh Council
City of Edinburgh Council Licensing Board

February 2015 Scottish Housing Regulator
Scottish Qualifications Authority
Inverclyde Council
Inverclyde Licensing Board

Schedule of named authorities

This is an alphabetical list of the named Scottish public authorities who will be invited to submit their formal records management plan for agreement by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland. This schedule will show which authorities have already been invited to submit their records management plan. This list, accessible via our resources page, will also be updated to reflect any name changes, amalgamations or reorganisations that occur during the invitation programme process (approximately 2013 - 2018).

Assessment Reports

The Keeper will publish a report on each of the submitted public authority records management plans and indicate his agreement or otherwise. These assessment reports can be found via our assessment report page.


This document summarises issues to do with the Act and particularly around implementation and compliance that were raised during the public consultation period (27 February - 18 May 2012) and explains the Keeper's position on each of these issues. The document gives details about the implementation process and what is expected of a submitted records management plan. It can be access via our resources page.

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