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Thread: MOD Personnel Records

  1. #1
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    Default MOD Personnel Records

    Dear All

    I though Forum Members might be interested in this link to a very recent addition to the news pages of the National Archives in Kew.

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/stories/204.htm?homepage=news

    Hopefully their might be some scope for releases before I collect my pension (in approx 2025)!!

    Kind regards
    Pierre

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    Pierre, thanks for that.
    Ross should issue a Lawful Order for all Forumites to respond to the NA questionnaire.
    Rgds
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 10th July 2008 at 13:31.

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    Thanks indeed! I have done my bit for Q&C. Now let's wait another 5 years before we hear anything else on the subject!

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    Gentlemen,

    Please note that the data transfer action under consideration by the MoD has, with the exception of the Home Guard records, not advanced to the period of World War 2. Meaning that this transfer, once completed in perhaps years from now, is of little importance to most visitors of this forum. The MoD requests views from the public, so here we have a chance to express the wish that more should be done, and faster. One may wonder if the giver of the law on privacy did sufficiently consider those who obtained absolute privacy as a result of circumstances they did not choose themselves, when they went missing-in-action. MIA research could be done much more efficiently, much less time consuming, if the relevant records were made readily available. I have pleaded that the MoD should consider a batch processing decision about such cases too, and now, in anticipation of a more complete disclosure of the WW2 records.

    Rob

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    Gentlemen,

    From the TNA website:

    The public can now give their views on the process of transferring to The National Archives, records of soldiers, sailors and airmen who served between the wars, in addition to files of the Home Guard during the Second World War.

    As these records are personnel files they need to be handled correctly, in accordance with data protection legislation. If you want to give your suggestions and comments, or simply express your support for the proposed transfer process, you can find out more about the transfer and add your thoughts at:

    http://www.forums.mod.uk/feedback/PublicConsultation.htm

    Unquote.

    On the site you can download a .pdf file that explains the considerations regarding this data transfer operation. It is about millions of records, making it impossible to review each record for possibly sensitive content, that would rule such record out for early disclosure. "Early" means earlier than a hundred years after the death or the assumed death of the person involved. "Disclosure" means surrendering the records from the MoD to TNA, after which the public can access these records. The idea is to take random samples from records in a group, and release the group, if the samples indicate that this can be done. The selection criteria to be used are not mentioned in detail. Reference is made to medical and criminal data, that is to be kept from early disclosure. I have asked Mr Sebastian Cox, director of RAF AHB, about this data transfer process, about the selection criteria to be used, and about the expected time table of the operation. He did not reply. The information on the TNA website makes it clear that RAF AHB is only one of the parties involved in this matter. The main party involved is the MoD, who explicitely requests the public to come forward with views about the matter. So we should respond to that, rather than complain about a process that is likely to take years. I would like to see this as a breakthrough, even if the first movements of this operation are made in a most cautious way. The MoD is balancing on the edge of the law, and we cannot require that the MoD changes the law. That is the privilege and task of the people in a democracy. It is unique that the MoD requests the views of the public. I believe that the MoD really feels a need for public support in their balancing act. So, please do give that support. After a while, the results of a breakthrough shall be considered as normal by most. "Why did we not think of this before?"

    Rob

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