When a couple gets married, or enters into a civil partnership, the forms that they are asked to fill in include a variety of pieces of information which are of no relevance to the event – things like parents' occupations, for example (even if the parents are dead … is 'corpse' an occupation?). All of this information is then publicly available on the marriage register.

My idea is to simplify the forms so that only essential information is asked for – perhaps just name and national insurance number.

Why is this idea important?

I'd simply ask: why do these pieces of information need to be recorded? Is anything ever done with them?

I suspect that the set of data items to be included on these forms was dreamt up in the distant past and the reasons are now lost.

If no-one in government can come up with a good reason why the forms need so much seemingly irrelevant information, then this seems like a prime candidate for reform in the attempt to roll back the database state.

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