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The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) is the body responsible for the operation of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) and of other public information services of the United Kingdom. The OPSI is part of the National Archives of the United Kingdom and is responsible for Crown copyright.
The OPSI announced on 21 June 2006 that it was merging with the National Archives. The merger took place in October 2006. The OPSI continues to discharge its roles and responsibilities from within the structure of the National Archives.
The Controller of HMSO is also the Director of OPSI. HMSO continues to operate from within the expanded remit of OPSI. The Controller of HMSO also holds the offices of Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament, Queen's Printer for Scotland and Government Printer for Northern Ireland.
By virtue of holding these offices OPSI publishes, through HMSO, the London Gazette , Edinburgh Gazette , Belfast Gazette and all legislation in the United Kingdom, including Acts of Parliament, Acts of the Scottish Parliament and Statutory Instruments.
The Controller of HMSO is appointed by Letters Patent to the office of Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament. This office is separate from the functions of OPSI. Historically the role of Queen's (or King's) Printer extended to other official publishing responsibilities, e.g. the rights to print, publish and import the King James Bible and Book of Common Prayer within England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The current holder of this office is Cambridge University Press.
HMSO was established as a new department of HM Treasury on 5 April 1786, when John Mayor was appointed as its first Superintendent.The creation of the Office was a result of the advocacy of Edmund Burke for reforms of the corrupt, expensive and inefficient Royal Household and the Civil Service. Before the establishment of HMSO, the Crown would grant patents (exclusive rights) for the supply of stationery; the patentee could buy these supplies cheaply and then charge highly inflated prices.
At first HMSO was the agent for various government departmentsbut, from 1822, all government departments were required to buy stationery through the open competitions and tenders operated by HMSO.
HMSO also took over as official publisher for both houses of Parliament from Hansard in 1882.
In 1889, HMSO was granted Letters Patent under which it was appointed as Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament ("printer to Her Majesty of all Acts of Parliament"). These letters patent also appointed the Controller of HMSO as administrator of the rights of Crown copyright. HMSO also took over publication of the London Gazette in the same year.
In 1986 HMSO celebrated its bicentenary.
Since 1947 it has printed 86 million copies of the Highway Code. It is one of the biggest publishers in the world, having published 9,300 titles last year and holding 49,000 titles in stock. It produces nearly 600 pages of Hansard and other parliamentary papers overnight, as well as Bills, Acts, White Papers, 2.3 million passports a year, 28.2 million pension and allowance books a year, and all sorts of other publications from the British Pharmacopoiea to guides to long-distance footpaths. The Stationery Office also supplies 1,500 million envelopes a year (at a cost of £11 million) as well as 18 million ball-point pens and 188 million paper-clips.
Most of its publishing functions were privatised in 1996 as a separate company known as The Stationery Office (TSO), but HMSO continued as a separate part of the Cabinet Office. Prior to 1996, it was the publisher of virtually all government material, such as command papers, legislation and official histories. After 1996 the Controller of HMSO remained Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament and retained the role of administering Crown copyright.
The privatisation was not the final stage in HMSO's changing role. As part of the implementation of the European Union directive on the re-use of public sector information, it was decided that there was a need for a dedicated body to be the principal focal point for advising on and regulating the operation of public sector information re-use. That new body, created in 2005, is the OPSI.
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, commonly known as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or simply the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. The person of the sovereign is shared equally both with the 15 other Commonwealth realms and the 10 provinces of Canada, but resides predominantly in her oldest and most populous realm, the United Kingdom. The Queen, on the advice of her Canadian prime minister, appoints a governor general to carry out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties. The commission is for an unfixed period of time—known as serving at Her Majesty's pleasure—though five years is the normal convention. Beginning in 1959, it has also been traditional to rotate between anglophone and francophone officeholders—although many recent governors general have been bilingual. Once in office, the governor general maintains direct contact with the Queen, wherever she may be at the time.
Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in others that is a separate step. Under a modern constitutional monarchy royal assent is considered to be little more than a formality; even in those nations which still, in theory, permit the monarch to withhold assent to laws, the monarch almost never does so, save in a dire political emergency or upon the advice of their government. While the power to veto a law by withholding royal assent was once exercised often by European monarchs, such an occurrence has been very rare since the eighteenth century.
The London Gazette is one of the official journals of record or Government gazettes of the British government, and the most important among such official journals in the United Kingdom, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published. The London Gazette claims to be the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the UK, having been first published on 7 November 1665 as The Oxford Gazette. This claim is also made by the Stamford Mercury (1712) and Berrow's Worcester Journal (1690), because The Gazette is not a conventional newspaper offering general news coverage. It does not have a large circulation.
A command paper is a document issued by the UK Government and presented to Parliament.
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada, sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs. Responsible government, though, requires the sovereign or her viceroy, the Governor General of Canada, to almost always follow only that advice tendered by the Cabinet: a committee within the Privy Council composed usually of elected Members of Parliament. Those summoned to the QPC are appointed for life by the Governor General as directed by the Prime Minister of Canada, meaning that the group is composed predominantly of former cabinet ministers, with some others having been inducted as an honorary gesture. Those in the council are accorded the use of an honorific style and post-nominal letters, as well as various signifiers of precedence.
The Government of Canada, officially Her Majesty's Government, is the corporation responsible for the federal administration of Canada. In Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council. In both senses, the current construct was established at Confederation through the Constitution Act, 1867—as a federal constitutional monarchy, wherein the Canadian Crown acts as the core, or "the most basic building block", of its Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The Crown is thus the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Canadian government. Further elements of governance are outlined in the rest of the Canadian Constitution, which includes written statutes, court rulings, and unwritten conventions developed over centuries.
Delegated legislation is law that is not passed by an Act of Parliament but by a government minister, a delegated person or an entity in the United Kingdom. Delegated legislation is used for a wide variety of purposes such as fixing the date on which an Act of Parliament will come into force; setting fees for a public service; or establishing the details of an Act of Parliament. Delegated legislation is dependent on its parent act, which prescribes its parameters and procedures. Although a large volume of delegated legislation is written without close parliamentary scrutiny, there are statutory instruments to prevent its misuse.
The Stationery Office (TSO) is a British publishing company created in 1996 when the publishing arm of Her Majesty's Stationery Office was privatised. It is the official publisher and the distributor for legislation, command and house papers, select committee reports, Hansard, and the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes, the UK government's three official journals of record. With more than 9,000 titles in print and digital formats published every year, it is one of the UK's largest publishers by volume.
The Queen's Printer is typically a bureau of the national, state, or provincial government responsible for producing official documents issued by the Queen-in-Council, ministers of the Crown, or other departments. The position is defined by letters patent under the royal prerogative in various Commonwealth realms.
Lyon Clerk and Keeper of the Records is a legal and heraldic office in Scotland. The holder of this office is appointed by the Crown, and like the Lord Lyon King of Arms receives an annual salary. Lyon Clerk's duties include heraldic research, the preparation of papers, lectures and conducting and assisting with the preliminary business of application for a grant or matriculation of armorial bearings. This includes scrutiny of documents supporting the application. As Keeper of the Records the duties include maintaining the records of the Court of the Lord Lyon, overseeing the preparation of documents, allowing inspection of the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland and other records, and issuing certified extracts when required. Until 1867 there was a Lyon Clerk Depute, and in 1986 Elizabeth Ann Roads became the first woman appointed to the office of Lyon Clerk and Keeper of the Records.
A Deputy of the Governor General is, per the Constitution Act, 1867, one of any individuals appointed by the Governor General of Canada, with the Canadian monarch's consent, to act as the viceroy's steward in his or her stead, exercising any powers so delegated to them by the governor general – generally limited to all abilities save for dissolving parliament, namely, granting Royal Assent to bills passed by parliament, signing Orders in Council, issuing Royal Proclamations, or receiving the credentials of newly appointed ambassadors to Canada.
A Consolidated Fund Act is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed to allow, like an Appropriation Act, the Treasury to issue funds out of the Consolidated Fund.
The Edinburgh Gazette, along with The London Gazette and The Belfast Gazette, is an official newspaper of the United Kingdom government. The Stationery Office (TSO) is published on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) in Edinburgh, Scotland.
An Appropriation Act is an Act of Parliament passed by the United Kingdom Parliament which, like a Consolidated Fund Act, allows the Treasury to issue funds out of the Consolidated Fund. Unlike a Consolidated Fund Act, an Appropriation Act also "appropriates" the funds, that is allocates the funds issued out of the Consolidated Fund to individual government departments and Crown bodies.
The Belfast Gazette, along with The London Gazette and The Edinburgh Gazette, is an official newspaper of the United Kingdom government. It is published by The Stationery Office (TSO), on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The monarch of Barbados is the sovereign and head of state of Barbados. The current Barbadian monarch and head of state, since the independence if Barbados on 30 November 1966, is Queen Elizabeth II. As the sovereign, she is the personal embodiment of the Barbadian Crown. Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 15 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled Queen of Barbados and, in this capacity, she, her husband, and other members of the Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Barbadian state. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role. The Queen lives predominantly in the United Kingdom and, while several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal governmental and ceremonial duties in Barbados are carried out by the Queen's representative, the governor-general.
The monarchy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, forming the core of the country's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The Crown is thus is the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Vincentian government. While Royal Assent and the royal sign-manual are required to enact laws, letters patent, and orders in council, the authority for these acts stems from the Vincentian populace, and, within the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited, with most related powers entrusted for exercise by the elected and appointed parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown generally drawn from amongst them, and the judges and Justices of the Peace.
Crown copyright is a form of copyright claim used by the governments of a number of Commonwealth realms. It provides special copyright rules for the Crown, i.e. government departments and (generally) state entities. Each single Commonwealth realm has its own distinct Crown copyright regulations. There are therefore no common regulations that applies to all or a number of those countries. There are some considerations being made in Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand regarding the "reuse of Crown-copyrighted material, through new licenses".
The Letters Patent, 1947 are letters patent signed by George VI as King of Canada which reconstituted the office of Governor General of Canada under the terms of the Constitution Act, 1867. The letters were signed on 8 September 1947 and have been in effect since 1 October 1947, replacing the previous letters patent issued in 1931, to expand the role and powers of the Governor General in exercising the Royal Prerogative and allow her or him to carry out an increased number of the Sovereign's duties in "exceptional circumstances". While the letters patent allow the Governor General to use most of the "powers and authorities" lawfully belonging to the Sovereign, this permission can be revoked, altered, or amended by the sovereign at any time and these powers and authorities thus remain with the monarch and are carried out by the Governor General on his or her behalf.
The modern bureaucracy of Crown copyright dates from 1786, with the formation of a new Treasury department, His Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO). In 1882, HMSO was made the official publisher to both Houses of Parliament, which still retain copyright on official proceedings. In 1889, Queen Victoria granted the controller of HMSO Royal Letters Patent as "printer to Her Majesty of all Acts of Parliament". The Letters Patent appointed the controller to hold Crown copyright. This grant and the office of the Queen's Printer continues today. In 1980, HMSO became a trading fund. In 2000, the government repositioned HMSO to regulate Crown copyright licensing. This role was taken on by the Office of Public Sector Information, now part of the National Archives.