Are we included in the Freedom of Information Act?

The Act just covers general public authorities. Schedule hands down the Act contains a listing of the physical systems which are classed as general general general public authorities in this context. Some of those physical systems are detailed by title, including the safety and health Executive or perhaps the National Gallery. Other people are detailed by kind, as an example federal federal government departments, parish councils, or schools that are maintained. Executive agencies are classed as an element of their moms and dad federal federal federal government division; as an example, the DVLA is covered by the Act since it is area of the Department for Transport. Nonetheless, arm’s-length systems aren’t considered area of the division sponsoring them, and are detailed independently in role VI of Schedule 1.

Part 5 of this Act provides the Secretary of State the ability to designate further figures as general general general general public authorities. If in doubt, you can examine the position that is latest.

Particular figures are just covered for a few regarding the information they hold, for instance:

  • GPs, dentists as well as other doctors have only to give details about their NHS work;
  • the BBC, Channel 4 and also the Welsh channel S4C (the general public solution broadcasters) do not need to offer information on journalistic, literary or creative tasks; and
  • some figures which have judicial functions don’t have to offer details about these functions.

The definition of a public authority now also covers companies which are wholly owned in addition to the bodies listed in the Act, with effect

  • by the Crown;
  • by the wider general public sector; or
  • by both the Crown while the wider general public sector.

These terms are defined much more information in the amended part 6 of FOIA.

For instance, some regional authorities have actually transmitted duty for services (eg social housing) to a personal business (often referred to as an arm’s-length administration organization or ALMO), that will be wholly owned because of the regional authority. This particular company matters being an authority that is public unique right and requirements to answer needs for information. Where a business is completely owned with a wide range of neighborhood authorities additionally it is now a general public authority for the purposes of FOIA.

Individual MPs, installation members or councillors aren’t included in the Act.

For more info, read our more guidance that is detailed

Further Reading

Public authorities beneath the Freedom of Information Act

Whenever is information included in the Freedom of Information Act?

The Act covers all recorded information held by an authority that is public. It isn’t limited by formal papers and it covers, as an example, drafts, e-mails, records, tracks of phone conversations and CCTV recordings. Neither is it limited by information you create, therefore it additionally covers, for example, letters you obtain from people in the general public, though there could be a very good reason not to ever launch them.

The Act includes some certain needs to do with datasets. Of these purposes, a dataset is number of factual, natural information which you gather included in supplying solutions and delivering your functions being a general public authority, and that you possess in electronic kind. Your duties in terms of datasets are explained somewhere else in this Guide, where these are generally appropriate.

Demands are occasionally designed for less apparent sourced elements of recorded information, for instance the writer and date of drafting, based in the properties of the document (often called meta-data). These details is recorded therefore is included in the Act and also you must contemplate it for launch within the normal means.

Likewise, you need to treat demands for recorded information on the maneuvering of past freedom of data demands (meta-requests) no differently from virtually any obtain recorded information.

The Act will not protect information this is certainly in someone’s head. If a person in the general public wants information, you simply need certainly to offer information you have in recorded kind. There is no need to produce information that is new get the reply to a concern from staff whom you can do to understand it.

The Act covers information this is certainly held with respect to an authority that is public if it’s not held regarding the authority’s premises. As an example, you might keep records that are certain off-site storage space, or perhaps you may distribute specific forms of work become prepared by a specialist. likewise, although specific councillors aren’t general public authorities within their very own right, they do often hold information regarding council company on the behalf of their council.

Where you subcontract general general general public services up to an outside business, that company will then hold informative data on your behalf, with respect to the form of information as well as your agreement using them. A number of the information held by the outside business may be included in the Act in the event that you get a freedom of data request. The organization need not respond to any needs for information it gets, nonetheless it will be good training for them to forward the needs to you personally. The exact same relates where you will get solutions under a agreement, as an example, in the event that you consult external lawyers.

The Act doesn’t protect information you own solely with respect to someone else, human body or organization. This means workers’ solely personal data is certainly not covered, also in case it is for a work computer or e-mail account; nor is information you shop solely with respect to a trade union, or a person MP or councillor.

For more info, read our more detail by detail from this source guidance: