TSO delivers Legislation.gov.uk for The National Archives

Legislation.gov.uk is a world first providing full access to the statute book as open data

Thursday, 29th July 2010 - TNA (The National Archives) has announced the launch of www.legislation.gov.ukopens in new window. The new website has been developed by TSO, part of the Williams Lea Group and the leading provider of publishing solutions to the public sector, to provide clearer, faster and simpler access and publish UK legislation as open data.

In developing www.legislation.gov.ukopens in new window, TSO worked with TNA to integrate semantic web technologies, including RDFa and to provide a URI scheme that meets best practice guidelines. The solution also provides access through a public API in XML and RDF formats for re-users of the data.

The website has been designed from the ground-up with open data in mind and meets the principles of the recently established Public Sector Transparency Board.

The statute book is large and growing every day. www.legislation.gov.ukopens in new window provides free and easy access to the powerful API (Application Programming Interface) on which the site rests, enabling innovators and entrepreneurs to take and re-use the underlying data. It showcases the latest thinking in Linked Data, combining the web of documents with the web of data.

Richard Dell, CEO of TSO said, “Being at the heart of creating this website has been very satisfying for us. Opening up government information online by publishing it as Linked Data provides amazing opportunities for re-use, extending the awareness of the content. The new legislation.gov.uk site is an excellent example of what can be achieved by government in meeting the challenge of greater transparency and access to public information.”

www.legislation.gov.ukopens in new window replaces The Office of Public Sector Information (www.opsi.gov.ukopens in new window) and Statute Law Database (www.statutelaw.gov.ukopens in new window) websites to deliver an integrated and responsive service and better value to the taxpayer. The OPSI site is currently a top ten government website with more than 1.5 million unique users and 50 million hits a month, the vast majority searching for legislation. The new site brings together content from both sites providing effective navigation around the documents and between versions. Users can also link between associated legislative documents including EU legislation on the EURLex. There are also multiple options for downloading and printing the legislation.

The website is huge, consisting of 6.5 million distinct web pages and a further 6.5 million PDF documents and 1.8 billion RDF triples of Linked Data.

The new official home of legislation on the internet provides access to one of the world’s most comprehensive databases. It shows each piece of UK legislation in both its original and revised versions covering every jurisdiction (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and stretching back to 1267. The site includes a timeline feature which gives a unique insight into how the law has changed and helps people to understand the status of what they are looking at.

Find out more about our solutions for opening up public data at www.tso.co.uk/opendataopens in new window

About The National Archives

The National Archives, www.nationalarchives.gov.ukopens in new window, is a non-ministerial government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). As the official archive of the UK government, it preserves, protects and makes accessible one of the most significant historical collections of official records in the world, dating back over 1000 years.

As a leading advocate of the archive sector, The National Archives expertise touches every point in the lifecycle of information – from the early stages of planning processes and storage methods, through the creation, management, use and re-use of information in day-to-day business by government and citizens, right through to its eventual archiving and long-term preservation. This work helps inform government’s decisions and ensures that they become tomorrow’s permanent record.

Between 2003 and 2006, four government bodies came together to form The National Archives: the Public Record Office, the Office of Public Sector Information, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. Each of these organisations specialised in different aspects of managing important information.

Today The National Archives brings together the skills and specialisms needed in our digital world for managing and preserving government information past, present and future – and for making it accessible to its users.