Which organisations are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000?

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This guide helps you to find out who is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Guide is alphabetical.


Organisations and officials with public responsibilities that are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act

see also FOIA Schedule I - Public Authorities

Contents

Types of Organisation

Armed Forces

The Armed Forces of the Crown are subject to FOI except for:


(a) the special forces, and (b) any unit or part of a unit which is for the time being required by the Secretary of State to assist the Government Communications Headquarters in the exercise of its functions.

Subject to the above exceptions the following are subject to FOI:

  • Army
  • Royal Air Force (RAF)
  • Royal Marines
  • Royal Navy

In addition Executive Agencies of the Ministry of Defence are subject to FOI.


Charities

  • The vast majority of charities are not subject to the FOI, irrespective of the amount of public funding they receive.
  • The main way for a charity to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act is for it to be listed in Schedule I
  • The Charity Commission, which regulates charities, is subject to FOI. The Charity Commission holds a reasonable amount of information about all registered charities, mostly in relation to their annual returns (financial accounts, so information about donations and spending), lists of charity trustees, and complaints about charities.
  • Some public authorities are seperately registered as charities, as they meet the relevant legal criteria for FOI in their own right. Some examples of charities that are subject to FOI are shown here.

Companies

The vast majority companies are not subject to FOI.

If a company meets one (or more) of the following conditions it will be subject to FOI:

  • companies listed in Schedule 1 of the Act
  • companies wholly owned by the Crown [see Section 6 of the Act]
  • companies wholly owned by one public authority [see Section 6 of the Act]

Companies House is subject to FOI.

Executive Agencies

Government Departments

All Government Departments are subject to FOI.


Housing Associations

Not subject to FOI unless they are are wholly owned by the a single public authority/ the Crown and fall within the definition of Section 6.

Military colleges

See Military colleges and training establishments

Museums

Some museums are subject to the Act and some are not.

Schools

Private Schools: not subject to FOI

State Schools are subject to FOI

Academies are subject to FOI.

Scientific advisory committees

Most scientific advisory committees are subject to FOI but not all. [1]

Students' Unions

Students' Unions are not generally subject to FOI. Students' Unions are regulated by the Education Act 1994. The Education Act places certain obligations on the universities and college's governing bodies to regulate students unions. It may therefore be possible to obtain information from the university or college about the activities of a students' union.

Universities

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