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Release of Scottish Executive papers from the year 2000

Published: 1 Jan 2016 00:01

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

A central event of the year 2000 was the death of First Minister Donald Dewar and Cabinet minutes now made public show the impact of this on Government – and Parliament - business.

These files form part of the annual release of archived information by the Scottish Government. Since 2009 the Scottish Government has proactively opened over 13,000 files at 15 years.

Due to the Scottish Government's policy of proactive release a considerable amount of information from the year 2000 is already publicly available at the National Records of Scotland. This includes files on the Borders Rail Link and land reform legislation.

Tim Ellis, Chief Executive of NRS and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said: 'The annual release of Scottish Government information is always much anticipated and of interest to many people, including historians, researchers and the wider public.

'Last year saw the release of the first Cabinet Papers and minutes of the then new Scottish Executive, shedding light on the earliest days of the first administration. This year's release – including the first full year of Scottish Cabinet information – continues this process and I hope generates a similar level of interest.

In also welcoming this latest release of information, Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Parliamentary Business, said: 'I look forward to the latest release of Scottish Government information by the National Records of Scotland. As with last year's first release of Scottish Cabinet information, I anticipate those files now being made public will make fascinating reading.

'Information made available at the National Records of Scotland as well as the wealth of information proactively made available on the Scottish Government's website demonstrates this Government's ongoing commitment to openness and transparency.

Notes to 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