FOI Release: Status of RoS as regards the Scottish Administration and the keeping of the Register of the Great Seal

Published: 09 May 2024
Freedom of information class: How we deliver functions and services

Information request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

FOI reference: CW-2024-169
Date received: 29 March 2024
Date responded:15 April 2024

Information requested:

1) As you operate under the Scottish Administration and Scottish Parliament, please state whether the Scottish Administration, and the Scottish Parliament are incorporated entities.

2) Please state whether the Scottish Administration is part of the British Government or His Majesty’s Government. Please provide official supporting documented evidence.

3) With regard to the keeping of the Register of the Great Seal, please state the full name of the Great Seal this register pertains to, what crown the Great Seal is bound to and is the seal for, and please state what the full name of the Monarch who uses this Great Seal is from official government sources.

4) Please state the last time the register entered into its register a document sealed under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, and a document sealed under the Great Seal of Great Britain.

Response:

Freedom of Information legislation gives people the right to request recorded information held by public bodies. We can therefore only provide recorded information we hold in response to any questions asked.

Where your questions do not relate directly to the status or operations of RoS, we do not hold the relevant information to provide a response. Where this is the case, we have suggested alternative organisations who may be able to help.

1)If you require information relating to the Scottish Administration or to the Scottish Government, you can contact the Scottish Government’s Central Enquiry Unit at the following address: ceu@gov.scot.

2)If you require information relating to the Scottish Administration, you can contact the Scottish Government’s Central Enquiry Unit at the following address: ceu@gov.scot.

If you require further information relating to the UK Parliament, you can contact the House of Commons Information Compliance team at the following address: foicommons@parliament.uk.

3)The Register of the Great Seal is the register of documents which have had the Great Seal (also known as the Great Seal of Scotland) applied to them under instruction of the monarch.

The seal was first instituted in the reign of Duncan II, which began in 1094, with the earliest known version of the register dating from 1306, in the Reign of Robert I.

In modern times, use of the seal is limited to providing Royal Assent for Acts of the Scottish Parliament, documents such as royal commissions appointing Kings Counsel, Lords Lieutenant and others, and Charters of Incorporation of universities and professional bodies.

Under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998 (an Act of the UK parliament), the First Minister of Scotland is the Keeper of the Scottish Seal, with the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland being appointed deputy Keeper.

4) As of the date of your request, the last document recorded in the Register of the Great Seal was the Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill, on 28 March 2024.

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If you have a question or query about FOI requests, you can email the information governance team at: FOI.Requests@ros.gov.uk.