Monday, 13 September 2010

Another English GRO bird to be shot down?

Many readers may be aware of the fairly disastrous attempts of the English and Welsh General Register Office's civil BMD records to be digitised and reindexed over the last few years, with various projects such as DOVE, MAGPIE and EAGLE being announced in a blaze of publicity and then duly shot down due to problems with contractors and more. Rumours that the project management has been as birdbrained as the project titles can truly not be substantiated, but it is the case that not one of the projects is flying any more, having been abandoned only half completed and after a lot of taxpayers' money spent.

Following the aerial cull, a replacement project was announced last year called the Digitisation and Indexing project (abbreviated to D&I - I suspect the supervisors did not wish to be known as DIPS...). Here now is the latest update to the GRO soap opera plot of will they/won't they, as identified on the Identity and Passport Service website at

The Digitisation and Indexing Project (D&I) is the project to scan and digitise birth, marriage and death registration records for England and Wales from 1837 to present day. As well as the digitisation of the records themselves, the project includes the creation of an online index to the records and an upgrade to the online certificate ordering process.

Project Update September 2010
The D&I project is currently in a pause status as IPS awaits the outcome of the government's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). It is possible that the outcome of the CSR will impact the overall scope of the project, as well as timescales and procurement activity.

Further updates will be posted on this page, as soon as information is available.

If you have any comments on this page please contact:

So, once again, it has been stopped, and in a recession where the Government looks just about ready to go all medieval on our posteriors, it does not look good for a new improved English and Welsh system anytime soon. It is worth mentioning that this project was never going to be a ScotlandsPeople type scenario, with digitised images being made available online, but merely a way to provide better indexes and quicker certificate dispatch times. But you do have to wonder why one UK based GRO can find a perfectly adequate way to make its records accessible and another can constantly keep finding perfectly adequate ways to keep landing on its aforementioned posteriors.

Rumours that Bon Jovi are also getting together for a special performance of "Blaze of Glory" in Southport are equally unfounded...

(With thanks to Roger Lewry of the Federation of Family History Societies)

Professional genealogical problem solving and research
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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