Acts removed from the website

FOI request reference:
Publication date: November 2016

Title: Acts removed from the website

FOI request reference: F0047348

Response sent: November 2016

Outcome: Successful


Thank you for your reply,

1 I mean ALL ‘ACT’s’ removed from the site ‘’

2 From the first ACT (deleted) on the site ‘’

3 Sorry, I mean ACT’s & SI’s both.

Yours sincerely,


Thank you for your Freedom of Information Act request dated 27th October 2016 with regards to the possibility of obtaining from The National Archives figures relating to ‘Acts’ which have been removed from the website. Thank you for contacting me with further clarification of your request.

From your re-framing email this response will cover both Primary Legislation (ACT’s) and Secondary Legislation (SL). It should also be noted that the website was launched in 2012. is the Government’s official record of legislation and provides a complete archive of the statute book, both as enacted and as amended.

All primary and secondary pieces of legislation, regardless of when they were produced, would appear on the website. As you can see the oldest piece dates from 1609.

Primary legislation (Acts) – removed from

Primary legislation is not removed from once it’s published. Amendments to primary legislation are however applied.

Secondary legislation (SL) – removed from

Secondary legislation is very rarely withdrawn from – and only on department’s instructions. It is usually withdrawn if the wrong version has been published and it is republished by the department.

My colleagues within the Legislation Team inform me there are 3 possible categories a withdrawn piece of Secondary Legislation could fall into (figures in brackets are the totals for each set as of the date records where reviewed in light of this information request; 21st November 2016):

  1. Replaced later: a withdrawal was made and the item was re-published at a later date.  (15)
  2. Replaced same day: a withdrawal was made and the item was re-published on the same day. (41)
  3. Version withdrawn: A version has been withdrawn and not replaced (147)

Please find enclosed 3 inventories documenting the Secondary Legislations which have been withdrawn. As you can see the inventories detailing those which have been withdrawn and subsequently re-published contain a link to the website.

The third inventory – version withdrawn and a version not replaced – will, naturally not always be accompanied by a web link as the legislation has yet to be re-published. In this instance, and where possible, the name of the Secondary Legislation has been provided for your reference.

For further information detailing the reasons why legislation has been withdrawn – which as stated is rare – I can only suggest you contact the relevant government department responsible for it.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request or the decision which has been reached, you have the right to ask for an internal review.  Internal review requests must be submitted within two months of the date of this response and should be addressed to:

Quality Manager
Public Services Development Unit
The National Archives

Please mark your complaint clearly.  You have the right to ask the Information Commissioner (ICO) to investigate any aspect of your complaint.  However, please note that the ICO is likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have been exhausted before beginning his investigation.

I trust this information is of some use to you and I wish you all the best with your research.