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The 1953 Act for the Registration of Births,Deaths and Marriages in England and Wales

Comment 7th August 2010

It only states that there should be an index, and the legal interprtation of what that index contains and how it is delivered shifts according to goverment whim and civil service expediency. Apparently this legislative framework makes it difficult to improve existing indexes and deems it necessary for all certificates to be issued only as certified legal paper documents at a cost of £9.25. Historical certificates ovber a certain age currently held by the GRO and local registrars should'nt have to be issued as expensive official certificates. They should be made available in digital form via a pay per view or subscription service (check out how Scotland do it). Some of these documents have already been digitised and are being used to issue the paper copies, so we know that it is possible to make the available in this way. The GRO should improve indexing of these digital documents and make the index available online, or enable a commercial partner to provide the service accordingly. If the law cannot make that happen,then we must change it.  I am sure it will make the GRO money and satisfy many hundreds of thousands of family history customers througout the world, which is what goverment is supposed to be about. I was interested to read that this new coalition goverment is asking for suggestions for amendments to unnecessary laws and free up regulatory burdens, if any law needs overhauling and brought into the 21st century it is this one

Why does this matter?

As a pensioner and there are many thousands of us who are carrying out research on our families, it will help even more to carry out the task from home and will enable people with difficulties who cannot travel to enjoy and continue there hobby in the safety of their homes.  I am sure the majority of family historians will agree and now that the BMD certicates have been increased in price well beyond my means and most pensioners ability ro afford them an alternative way to continue our pastime will help.

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