No signatures on birth certificates

Mae'r ymateb i'r cais hwn yn hwyr iawn. Yn ôl y gyfraith, ym mhob amgylchiad, dylai General Register Office fod wedi ymateb erbyn hyn. (manylion). Gallwch gwyno drwy yn gofyn am adolygiad mewnol.

Dear General Register Office,

1) Why have signatures been obsolete from birth certificates from 2009 - date?

2)Who authorised the GRO and local registers to type names of informants in signature box?

3) Why has the GRO and local registry offices stopped producing exact copies of birth certificates?

It is claimed that the informants sign the register page (that is same template as the birth certificate) and that's the GRO's copy but why isn't that copy the exact copy when issuing the birth certificate!

Yours faithfully,

Ms. S Lawson

FOI, General Register Office

If your enquiry falls within the remit of a Freedom of Information request
Her Majesty’s Passport Office will send you an acknowledgement within the
next 2 working days.

 

If your enquiry does not fall within the Freedom of Information remit this
will not be forwarded or responded to. Therefore please contact the
appropriate department listed below:

 

• For a passport enquiry or complaint, please complete an online enquiry
form

 

• If your enquiry or complaint relates to a certificate which you have
ordered from the General Registrar’s Office, please complete the
certificate service order enquiries form.

 

• If your request is for information relating to your data held by Her
Majesty’s Passport Office or an individual it falls under the terms of the
Data Protection Act 1998 and may qualify as a Subject Access Request,
please email [email address]

 

• If your enquiry relates to nationality you should forward your enquiry
to the UK Visas and Immigration enquiry team who are better placed to
respond, please email    [email address] 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, General Register Office

Dear Ms Lawson

 

Thank you for your email below.  Your request is being handled as a
request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

We will aim to send you a full response by 2 June 2021, which is twenty
working days from the date when we received your request.

 

Due to the measures introduced in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19)
pandemic, which include social distancing and protecting vulnerable
people, our responses to Freedom of Information requests may take longer
than usual.  

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your
patience at this difficult time.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Her Majesty’s Passport Office

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, General Register Office

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Lawson

 

Please find attached our response to your information request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Her Majesty’s Passport Office

 

 

From: FOI <[General Register Office request email]>
Sent: 04 May 2021 15:13
To: Ms. S <[FOI #752658 email]>
Cc: FOI <[General Register Office request email]>
Subject: 63992/21 S Lawson

 

Dear Ms Lawson

 

Thank you for your email below.  Your request is being handled as a
request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

We will aim to send you a full response by 2 June 2021, which is twenty
working days from the date when we received your request.

 

Due to the measures introduced in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19)
pandemic, which include social distancing and protecting vulnerable
people, our responses to Freedom of Information requests may take longer
than usual.  

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your
patience at this difficult time.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Her Majesty’s Passport Office

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI,

Thank you for response however you are not being transparent and are using the legislation in a misconceived manner. What I mean by that is by referring to S. 34 (5) whilst failing to acknowledge S.34 (2) where the legislation clearly states that :

S.34(2)
An entry or a certified copy of an entry of a birth or death in a register, or in a certified copy of a register, shall not be evidence of the birth or death unless the entry purports to be SIGNED by some person professing to be the informant and to be such a person as might be [F128required or permitted by law] at the date of the entry to give to the registrar information concerning that birth or death:

To state that 'there has never been a legal requirement for an informant to sign a birth certificate' is not only false information but a misconception of law. The legislation S.34 (2) clearly states that there is a legal requirement for a signature in order for the entry of birth to be evidence of birth.

A signature is not a printed name, a signature is unique to an individual and a signature is a substance.

As you are using the RON system to produce/issue birth certificates, it also requires a signature as stated in
2.2.8 of the 2002 white paper - vital change.

To refer to S. 34(5) that clearly is referring to the layout of the birth certificate and not to the substance (the personal data/information) is dismissive of the actual questions being asked and is ludicrous especially when the RON system performs the legislation that is actually your job.

It is understood that their is no change to the primary legislation regarding the use of the RON system as parliament stated in https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm...

8. The GRO’s statement describes the following pattern of development for its proposals:
.......
January 2002: The White Paper “Civil Registration: Vital Change” was published. This contained a number of significant proposals for the modernisation of registration services in relation to marriage and civil partnerships as well as in relation to the registration of births and deaths.5 In publishing the White Paper, the Government indicated that its intention would be to make use of the Regulatory Reform procedure
to introduce the significant legislative changes which would be required.

41. We agree with the Minister that the proposal does not aim at or achieve any thoroughgoing change in civil registration policy but seeks to amend the way in which current statutory functions and processes are carried out.

It is clearly understood that the processing of information has been amended via the RON system. As a registrar you are legally obligated to use the RON system in the manner it was intended for. Therefore the 2002 White paper - the vital changes is your handbook on how to use the RON system.

In response to your response regarding Q.2 again you fail to be transparent and are contradicting yourself by stating in your response to Q.1 ' Only the register page, which is printed following the direct questioning of a qualified informant, is required to be signed to confirm the particulars to be registered are correct'. If you are providing a certified copy to an informant and the substance should not be changed, why is the copy obtained by a qualified informant not an exact copy of the register page (birth certificate) where there is a an actual signature?

As a registrar you are legally obligated to use the RON system in the manner it was intended for. Therefore the 2002 White paper - the vital changes is your handbook on how to use the RON system.

2.2.13 The system for birth registration would be underpinned by the computerised central database (see
paragraphs 1.2.1–1.2.9). Health Service birth notifications (see paragraph 2.2.3) would be received and entered onto the system electronically to form an outline birth record. The information required to be given by the person registering the birth would be cross-referenced against the outline record. The system would accept a registration only if it matched with a birth notification. In circumstances where a person seeks to register a birth and there is no birth notification, the system will allow the person to give the information. A registration will not be complete until that information is matched with the birth notification. In such
circumstances the informant will be required to provide contact details should any problem arise when the birth notification is received from the Health Service. Confirmation of the registration would be sent to the
informant when the registration is completed.

2.2.15 There would be no need for a draft of the particulars to be prepared (see paragraph 2.2.5). A review
and edit facility would be used to check the information before it is entered onto the central record system and locked. Once locked the facility to edit the record would be restricted. Also, the need for a copy of the record being prepared, checked and sent to the Registrar General would be dispensed with.

8.2.15 For records that have been computerised, access would be handled in the same way as for other records captured on the central database. As with registration records for England and Wales, access to records that have not been electronically captured will continue to be via certificates. These would be transitional arrangements until these records have been computerised. There would be no access restrictions for historic overseas records (those relating to people born over 100 years ago). All the information contained in these records would be fully available.

2.2.15 clearly finalizes the central record system that the RON system has and as it is legal requirement by the legislation and 8.2.15 clearly refers to information being captured, this evidently would be the signatures of the qualified informants as it would most likely be the only be the information required due to centralised system of the RON system.

This would enable registrar to provide an exact copy of the birth certificate/ register page on the actual day of the date when it occurred.

Again! I ask

1) Why have signatures been obsolete from birth certificates from 2009 - date?

2)Who authorised the GRO and local registers to type names of informants in signature box?

3) Why has the GRO and local registry offices stopped producing exact copies of birth certificates?

It is claimed that the informants sign the register page (that is same template as the birth certificate) and that's the GRO's copy but why isn't that copy the exact copy when issuing the birth certificate!

Before the implementing of the RON system in July 2009 every birth certificate in England and Wales has signatures of the qualified informants.

It has been over a decade since the RON system was implemented in England and Wales and it is evident that the GRO/ local registry offices have and continue to fail the public by not understanding how the RON system works.

Yours sincerely,

Ms. S

FOI, General Register Office

If your enquiry falls within the remit of a Freedom of Information request
Her Majesty’s Passport Office will send you an acknowledgement within the
next 2 working days.

 

If your enquiry does not fall within the Freedom of Information remit this
will not be forwarded or responded to. Therefore please contact the
appropriate department listed below:

 

• For a passport enquiry or complaint, please complete an online enquiry
form

 

• If your enquiry or complaint relates to a certificate which you have
ordered from the General Registrar’s Office, please complete the
certificate service order enquiries form.

 

• If your request is for information relating to your data held by Her
Majesty’s Passport Office or an individual it falls under the terms of the
Data Protection Act 1998 and may qualify as a Subject Access Request,
please email [email address]

 

• If your enquiry relates to nationality you should forward your enquiry
to the UK Visas and Immigration enquiry team who are better placed to
respond, please email    [email address] 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Requests,

S Lawson,

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request for an Internal Review of FoI case ref 63992.

This has been assigned to a caseworker who will aim to send you a full response by 22/06/2021 which is twenty working days from the date we received your request.

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you,

P. Zebedee
FOI Requests
Home Office

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear General Register Office,

You should have responded to the Internal Review of FoI case ref 63992 by the 22nd June 2021. It has been over week, can you provide the information requested?

Yours faithfully,

Ms. S

FOI, General Register Office

If your enquiry falls within the remit of a Freedom of Information request
Her Majesty’s Passport Office will send you an acknowledgement within the
next 2 working days.

 

If your enquiry does not fall within the Freedom of Information remit this
will not be forwarded or responded to. Therefore please contact the
appropriate department listed below:

 

• For a passport enquiry or complaint, please complete an online enquiry
form

 

• If your enquiry or complaint relates to a certificate which you have
ordered from the General Registrar’s Office, please complete the
certificate service order enquiries form.

 

• If your request is for information relating to your data held by Her
Majesty’s Passport Office or an individual it falls under the terms of the
Data Protection Act 1998 and may qualify as a Subject Access Request,
please email [email address]

 

• If your enquiry relates to nationality you should forward your enquiry
to the UK Visas and Immigration enquiry team who are better placed to
respond, please email    [email address] 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Responses,

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms. Lawson

I attach the completed internal review into the handling of the above-referenced FOI request.

Kind regards
Anne Tomkins

Information Rights Team
Knowledge and Information Management Unit
Home Office | 2 Marsham Street | London SW1P 4DF

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear General Register Office,

Thank you for your response.

However why is the Home Office responding to an FOI that was directed at the General Registrar’s Office?

The internal review should have been conducted with the appropriate office – the General Registrar’s Office.
In reference to your response.

In September 1999, the Registrar General of E&W published a consultation document Registration: Modernising a Vital Service, this is the: 17654T TSO Text (publishing.service.gov.uk), that you have made reference to; and was republished again in January 2002.

The document itself makes no reference to the RON system that is currently being used across England and Wales since 2009, but sought views on defining and providing a civil registration service in era of developing technology.

The references made in Annex C in terms of 2.2.1, 2.2.13 etc., can be found in the 2002 White Paper: Vital Change

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov....

The 2002 White Paper – Vital Change is the legal document that clearly defines the RON system capabilities that are in line the primary legislation and statutory regulations, the Birth and Death Act 1953 and the Registration of Birth and Deaths Regulations 1987.

It should have been obvious when you conducted your internal review that I was referring to a completely different White Paper, when you were unable to find reference to section 2.2.8 and other references that I made in Annex C.

In para. 9 you stated ‘Following registration, certified copies (in form of a certificate) of a register page can be requested an issued in accordance with statutory access regime.’

The statutory access regime is primary legislation and statutory regulations, the Birth and Death Act 1953 and the Registration of Birth and Deaths Regulations 1987.
As we have both already acknowledged that there are ‘No changes to primary legislation’ and this has been agreed and acknowledged by parliament

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm..., pg. 16 paragraph 41

‘41. We agree with the Minister that the proposal does not aim at or achieve any thoroughgoing change in civil registration policy but seeks to amend the way in which current statutory functions and processes are carried out.’

In para. 11 you then misconstrued the S. 34(5) as justification stating that the ‘legislation therefore permits that information produced in a certificate to differ from the original register’

The Government invested 6 million pounds into the RON system to facilitate the GRO’s movement towards a more modernized service, developing the RON system to record, storage and provision of certified copies of entries made in the registers (and for the use of printing certificates); without any changes to the legislation.

With reference to para. 10 and 11 of your response in regards to S.34 (5) as you stated there are no changes to the primary legislation. It is a misrepresentation of facts to state that ‘Legislation therefore permits the information produced in a certificate to differ from the original register entry in form, but not in substance’ particularly when S.34 (5) clearly states that there can be difference in form of column headings and not of substance, substance being the data collected by the birth notification and the information provided by informant; these are the particulars.

To state that ‘legislation does not require the certificate to include their exact signature’ again is not only a misrepresentation of facts but also misinterpretation what is actually stated in the in legislation. As you recognized there isn’t a change to the legislation and have acknowledged that informants and registrar sign the register page. These signatures should legally be evident on every copy of the birth certificate issued as the legislation does legally require the certificate to include the exact signature of informant and registrar.

I ask that you conduct another review on the basis of that you referred to the wrong white paper that didn’t contain .2.1, 2.2.13 etc., can be found in the 2002 White Paper: Vital Change

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov....

Yours faithfully,

Ms. S

FOI, General Register Office

If your enquiry falls within the remit of a Freedom of Information request
Her Majesty’s Passport Office will send you an acknowledgement within the
next 2 working days.

 

If your enquiry does not fall within the Freedom of Information remit this
will not be forwarded or responded to. Therefore please contact the
appropriate department listed below:

 

• For a passport enquiry or complaint, please complete an online enquiry
form

 

• If your enquiry or complaint relates to a certificate which you have
ordered from the General Registrar’s Office, please complete the
certificate service order enquiries form.

 

• If your request is for information relating to your data held by Her
Majesty’s Passport Office or an individual it falls under the terms of the
Data Protection Act 1998 and may qualify as a Subject Access Request,
please email [email address]

 

• If your enquiry relates to nationality you should forward your enquiry
to the UK Visas and Immigration enquiry team who are better placed to
respond, please email    [email address] 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Responses,

Dear Ms Lawson

 

Thank you for your e-mail of  28^th August 2021.

 

The Home Office responded to FOI 63992 as the General Register Office is
part of Her Majesty’s Passport Office within the Home Office.

 

We note your comments in relation to the white paper, which we referred to
in our previous response. We have reviewed the white paper, shown in your
 e-mail, and can confirm this does not change the response we previously
provided to you.

 

The next stage of a complaint relating to FOI matters should, as
previously explained, be made via the Information Commissioner's Office.

 

I am sorry that I cannot provide you with any additional information
regarding your enquiry.

 

Kind regards

A.Tomkins

 

Information Rights Team

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Home Office | 2 Marsham Street | London SW1P 4DF

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear General Register Office,

The complaint has been referred to the Information Commissioner's Office has

Yours faithfully,

Ms. S

FOI, General Register Office

If your enquiry falls within the remit of a Freedom of Information request
Her Majesty’s Passport Office will send you an acknowledgement within the
next 2 working days.

 

If your enquiry does not fall within the Freedom of Information remit this
will not be forwarded or responded to. Therefore please contact the
appropriate department listed below:

 

• For a passport enquiry or complaint, please complete an online enquiry
form

 

• If your enquiry or complaint relates to a certificate which you have
ordered from the General Registrar’s Office, please complete the
certificate service order enquiries form.

 

• If your request is for information relating to your data held by Her
Majesty’s Passport Office or an individual it falls under the terms of the
Data Protection Act 1998 and may qualify as a Subject Access Request,
please email [email address]

 

• If your enquiry relates to nationality you should forward your enquiry
to the UK Visas and Immigration enquiry team who are better placed to
respond, please email    [email address] 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir