Staffing for legislation.gov.uk

FOI request reference: F0055934
Publication date: March 2019

Request

I am writing to request information held by the National Archives under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”) regarding the website http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ and the team of civil servants/officials which maintains the service provided by this website.

Pursuant to FOIA, I request the following for each calendar year from 2015 onwards:
1. The number of full-time staff (and their respective civil service grades) working on updating the legislation available through website;
2. The number of part-time staff (and their respective civil service grades) working on updating the legislation available through the website;
3. The total spend by the National Archives on the staff referred to at 1. above;
4. The total spend by the National Archives on the staff referred to at 2. above;
5. Any internal guidance prepared by the National Archives and used by staff in determining which legislation should be prioritised when updated; and
6. Details of any subscription services (such as Westlaw) available to those staff in performing their functions updating legislation.

Outcome

Successful

Response

Please note, the figures provided below in response to questions 1 to 4, relate to all staff working in the Legislation Services Department at The National Archives. Not all of these employees will work directly on legislation updating tasks at all times; they will be involved in other projects and responsibilities relating to their roles. However, there is no way to separate the time spent on updating legislation, from other work, in order to answer your questions, so we have provided figures for the whole team. These are the figures for the calendar years, as originally requested.

1. The number of full-time staff (and their respective civil service grades) working on updating the legislation available through website

2015 2016 2017 2018
EO 4 5 4 4
HEO 8 7 8 13
SEO 5 4 5 4
Grade 7 1 1 1 1
Grade 6 1 1 1 1
Total 19 18 19 23

 
2. The number of part-time staff (and their respective civil service grades) working on updating the legislation available through the website

2015 2016 2017 2018
EO 4 5 2 2
HEO 1 1 4 4
SEO 1 0 0 0
Grade 7 1 2 2 2
Grade 6 0 0 0 0
Total 7 8 8 8

 
3. The total spend by the National Archives on the staff referred to at 1. Above

2015 2016 2017 2018
£779,560.64 £698,569.56 £808,751.11 £941,698.62

 
4. The total spend by the National Archives on the staff referred to at 2. Above

2015 2016 2017 2018
£144,626.34 £201,645.73 £196,435.04 £219,429.82

 
5. Any internal guidance prepared by the National Archives and used by staff in determining which legislation should be prioritised when updated

We do not hold formal internal guidance relating to the prioritisation of legislation updating. This is because updating legislation is an operational task and specific priorities change regularly depending on the circumstances. These specific priorities are communicated informally, via oral updates in monthly editorial team meetings or via email.

However, you may find the following explanation of interest. The aim of legislation updating on legislation.gov.uk over the period specified (since 2015) has been to bring the primary legislation up to date – in particular UK Acts, Acts of the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales Measures and Acts, and Northern Ireland Acts. Over time, the approach to prioritisation has changed, largely due to the capabilities of the editorial system, which was still in development in 2015 and was unable to process all Acts; therefore, prioritisation was based on the Acts available for update. By 2016, with development of the editorial system complete, the prioritisation was based on website usage, with particular focus on amendments to the top 100 most viewed Acts on legislation.gov.uk (Top 100 Act list attached – https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/missing-documents-list-2012-16.xlsx). In addition, we aim to prioritise Acts that are requested by users where possible.

By mid-2018, over 95% of primary legislation had been brought up to date (for context, 1% = approx. 55 Acts, and we are currently at 98.1% complete) and prioritisation became a balance between bringing the remaining Acts up to date, while ensuring all the up to date Acts are kept up to date. In addition, the prioritisation has been extended to include selected updating of secondary legislation.

6. Details of any subscription services (such as Westlaw) available to those staff in performing their functions updating legislation.

• Access to the Ministry of Justice eLis judicial portal until the end of 2016
• Subscription to LexisLibrary legislation service since May 2017