The National Archives has launched an online consultation on planned changes to the thirty year rule which governs the availability of public records to researchers. Anyone interested can contribute here.
The rationale for the changes was outlined by Gordon Brown in his speech on liberty in October:
It is an irony that the information that can be made available on request on current events and current decisions is still withheld as a matter of course for similar events and similar decisions that happened 20 or 25 years ago.
Under the present arrangements historical records are transferred to the national archives and are only opened to public access after thirty years or where explicitly requested under the FoI Act. It is time to look again at whether historical records can be made available for public inspection much more swiftly than under the current arrangements.