The Statute Law Database – still just around the corner

Recent reports emanating from a news story suggest that “the Department for Constitutional Affairs is planning a new online database of UK primary and secondary legislation”. Informed observers will know that the Statute Law Database has been just around the corner since at least 1998. In fact the news is that TSO (formerly The Stationery Office) is working with the DCA to modernise its Statute Law Database. According to Tony Hopkins, Head of the Statutory Publications Office at the DCA. “The new editorial system provides us with a platform that will allow us to continue with the update programme and also assist with the development of an enquiry facility, by the end of this year, for those in the government service. Giving the public access to consolidated legislation is also a prime business objective and it is planned to make an internet-based service available during Spring of next year.” story

TSO news item

Who’s who in statutory publishing?

Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) is part of the Cabinet Office and delivers services relating to access and re-use of government information. The publishing arm of the former HMSO was privatised in 1996, then trading under the name The Stationery Office Ltd, with the administration of Crown copyright and the regulation of the contracts covering the printing and publication of legislation and other official materials being retained by HMSO.

The Statutory Publications Office (SPO) is an office within the Department for Constitutional Affairs and is producing a Statute Law Database (SLD) of United Kingdom legislation in line with its aim to deliver effective and accessible justice for all. The SPO is using TSO’s ActiveText content management system to maintain the SLD.

TSO (formerly The Stationery Office) is a private company which took over the trading operations of HMSO in 1996 and produces and supplies most statutory and government publications. Alongside this huge bookshop it provides publishing and content management services, and now likes to be known as “The Information Management Company”. For a short while its online presence was called Either they thought better of it or the Queen complained, as that quickly morphed into TSO Online.