Removing notices after they have been published

As a governing principle, we do not remove notices after they have been published online or in print in The Gazette. This is because the notices in The Gazette form part of the complete and official public record.

We will, however, redact information such as addresses, where there is evidence of a significant risk to the physical or mental health or the safety of the data subject. Such evidence would need to come from the police, security services, social services, child protection services, a doctor or other medical professional and, if the notice is published under a statutory authority, you will be required to seek the notice placers permission and provide evidence of that approval before any redaction can occur. Redacting information means obscuring it so that it cannot be read. If you think you have evidence which would lead to redacting your personal information please contact the customer services team

Personal insolvency notices

Personal insolvency notices are published in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (as amended) and/or any appropriate regulations and/or guidance (the “Act”). The data controller (as defined in the Act) is the Controller of HMSO, part of The National Archives, operating in her capacity as superintendent of the publishing of The Gazette. TSO delivers The Gazette under a concessionary contract to The National Archives, and acts as the data processor.

In the UK, the publication of bankruptcy orders in The Gazette is governed by the Insolvency Rules. Once made, the order is required by law to be gazetted (rules 10.32 and 10.45) making the notices available to the public as evidence of the conduct of discharged or undischarged bankrupts. The order is therefore a statement of fact at the time of issue, and a matter of public record.

In Scotland, the publication of sequestration (bankruptcy) and trust deed orders in The Edinburgh Gazette was required under the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985, but these requirements have been repealed over a period from 2010 – 2015 (see the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Act 2010, the Protected Trust Deeds (Scotland) Regulations 2008 and The Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act 2014). Notices, therefore, may have been placed as a consequence of a statutory requirement to do so, or because the Insolvency Practitioner has chosen to put the facts of the bankruptcy officially on the public record, for example to better inform potential creditors.

Excluding personal insolvency notices from search engine results

The personal insolvency notices on The Gazette website are part of the permanent official record. However, we request that search engines start to exclude all personal insolvency notices from their search results after one year and three months. This policy is aligned to the lowest common denominator of insolvency registers which, in this case, is the Insolvency Service bankruptcy and insolvency register. Once a bankruptcy order is made, the data subject is usually discharged after one year. The record is then removed from the Insolvency Service register three months after the insolvency case has ended.

To view the current status of a bankruptcy you can search the individual insolvency registers England and Wales and Northern Ireland.

Every type of personal insolvency notice has a different notice code and each notice code has a ‘no-index, follow’ tag automatically added to it one year and three months after it was placed. The ‘no-index, follow’ tag instructs search engines, if they adhere to these rules, to exclude results from their search. The automatic adding of a ‘no-index, follow’ tag means that the first notice about your personal insolvency will be excluded from search engines one year and three months after it was placed, with any subsequent notices excluded one year and three months after they were placed.

Further information

If you want to request that the Official Receiver places a discharge of insolvency notice in The Gazette, point 9 in the Insolvency Service’s guidance on bankruptcy sets out the process you must follow.

If your bankruptcy is annulled you can also request that the Official Receiver places a notice of annulment in The Gazette. Point 9 in the Insolvency Service’s guidance on bankruptcy sets out the process you must follow.