CHAPTER 2: OVERVIEW OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

Because the Freedom of Information Act is essentially about open and accountable government, it applies directly only to ‘public authorities’. The Act establishes a list of public authorities, and makes provision for organisations to be added to or removed from the list as required1.

It also provides for two other categories of public authority. These are:

•  bodies not eligible for the main list, but which are designated by the Secretary of State because they are exercising ‘functions of a public nature’ or ‘providing under a contract made with a public authority any service whose provision is a function of that authority’ (s.5 of the Act);

•  publicly owned companies (s.6 of the Act).

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