List of organisations not subject to FOI by function

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See also: Organisations_and_officials_with_public_responsibilities_that_are_not_subject_to_the_Freedom_of_Information_Act

Communications, Media and Entertainment

Advertising Standards Authority

"The Advertising Standards Authority regulates the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in the UK." [1]

British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)

The BBFC is an independent, non-governmental body, which has classifies cinema films and videos. (Video Recordings Act 1984).

British Film Institute

Included in the Whole of Government Accounts. The BFI received over £14 million of Grant-in-aid in 2008.

British Telecom, in respect of information held for the purpose of meeting its Universal Service Obligation

"The USO is a safety net that makes sure people on low incomes, and other customers who might be at a disadvantage, can have a phone service."[2]

Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC)

"The DA Notice system is a voluntary code that provides guidance to the British media on the publication or broadcasting of national security information. The objective is to prevent inadvertent public disclosure of information that would compromise UK military and intelligence operations and methods, or put at risk the safety of those involved in such operations, or lead to attacks that would damage the critical national infrastructure and/or endanger lives. The system is overseen by the Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee, a joint government/media body that approves the standing DA notices and monitors their implementation." [3]

Market Research Society (MRS)

"MRS supports best practice by setting and enforcing industry standards. The commitment to uphold the MRS Code of Conduct is supported by the Codeline service and a wide range of specialist guidelines."[30] "


Openreach is the division was created to "Ensure that all rival operators have equality of access to BT's own local network". The local network or "access network" is the wiring connecting customers to their local telephone exchange, starting at the Main Distribution Frame (MDF) in the exchange and ending at the network termination point (NTP) at the end user's premises. Wikipedia Article on Openreach

PhonepayPlus Limited

previously called ICSTIS[4]

"Under the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom has responsibility for the regulation of premium rate services. In December 2007 it was confirmed that PhonepayPlus will act as the agency which carries out the day-to-day regulation of the PRS market on Ofcom's behalf."[5]

In decision notice FER0265609, the IC found that PhonepayPlus was a public authority for EIR purposes.

Independent Press Standards Organisation (?)


Electoral Registration Officers

"The Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not list any person appointed under the Representation of the People Act 1983. The Electoral Registration Officer, Returning Officer or any other person appointed under the Act are not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act."[6]

Returning Officers

See Electoral Registration Officers.


Exam Boards

Bodies that set and regulate exams, such as SATs, GCSEs and 'A'-levels.

e.g. "The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) is the largest of the three English exam boards, awarding 49% of full course GCSEs and 42% of A-levels nationally. In total, students take over 3.5 million exams with us each year. "[7]

An Exam Board that is a wholly owned subsidiaries of a university is subject to the Act.

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)

The Higher Education Act 2004 provides for the appointment of a designated operator of a student complaints scheme in England and Wales. The OIA is the designated operator of the Scheme with effect from 1 January 2005.


Capita Gas Registration and Ancillary Services Limited

"Gas Safe Register is run by Capita Gas Registration and Ancillary Services Limited"[14]

"Gas Safe Register is the official gas registration body for Great Britain (GB)..., appointed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for Great Britain..."[8]

National Grid plc

"National Grid owns the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales and operates the system across Great Britain. It also owns and operates the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain and its distribution business delivers gas to 11 million homes and businesses." [9]

Environment and land management

Regional Climate Change Partnerships

The Freedom of Information Act does not apply to regional climate change partnerships [10], created as a result of the Climate Change Act 2008.

Dartmoor Commoners' Council


Independent Sector Treatment Centres

Private sub-contractors carrying out treatment for NHS patients.

Local Medical Committees

Statutory body representing GPs

Royal College of Physicians

The RCP publish Clinical guidelines that 'are "systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances".'


Churches Conservation Trust

Included in Whole of Government Accounts. "its sponsor, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, expect it to perform as one in relation to the [Freedom of Information] Act, and it is the Trust’s intention to do so."[11]


Housing Associations

Housing Associations (also called Registered Social Landlords) are not subject to FOI (in theory one could be if it was wholly owned by a local authority).


Financial Services Compensation Scheme Limited

Appears not to be subject to the Act.[12]

"The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the UK's statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms. This means that FSCS can pay compensation if a firm is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it. FSCS is an independent body, set up under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA)."

Financial Reporting Council

"The Financial Reporting Council is the UK’s independent regulator responsible for promoting confidence in corporate governance and reporting. We promote high standards of corporate governance through the Combined Code,..." [13]

Publicly Owned Banks


  • Bradford & Bingley plc
  • Northern Rock plc

Policing and public safety

Local Safeguarding Children Boards

"Children can only be safeguarded properly if the key agencies work effectively together. Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) are designed to help ensure that this happens. They put the former area child protection committees (ACPCs) on a statutory footing." [14]

Speed Camera Partnerships

Law and justice

Inquiries (non-judicial)

" relation to the records of inquiries held under this Act, the general exemptions for the records of statutory inquiries in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 ("the FOI Acts") will not apply. During the course of an inquiry held under the Inquiries Act, that inquiry is not a public authority for the purposes of those Acts. However, once an inquiry is over, its records are generally held by a public authority, such as a Government Department or the National Archives"


Legal Complaints Service (LCS)

"The Legal Complaints Service (LCS) is an independent complaints handling body. We are part of the Law Society, but operate independently."[16]

Magistrates' Association

"Promotes uniformity of practice"

because about 80% of Magistrates are members the guidance the organisation gives has a significant impact on the administration of justice.

about page for Magistrates' Association

Local Government

Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IDeA)

"The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) is not subject to the provisions of either the Environmental Information Regulations or the Freedom of Information Act (FoI), but they comply with requests made under the legislation as if they were."

Joint Advisory Committees set up under 102(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Parliamentary corporations and pension schemes

All Party Groups

"All-Party Groups (APGs)[17] are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are essentially run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords and do not receive funding or administrative support from the House of Commons ... All-Party groups are not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act."[18]

Corporate Officer of the House of Commons

The corporate officer is a corporation sole.

Corporate Officer of the House of Lords

The corporate officer is a corporation sole.

Trustees of Parliamentary Contributory Pensions Fund


Trustees of House of Commons Pension Scheme

Transport and navigation

Air Travel Trust

Included in "Whole of Government Accounts". The purpose of the Air Travel Trust is to manage and apply the Trust Fund for the benefit of customers of failed tour operators. [21]

Independent Penalty Fares Appeals Service (IPFAS), The

"4.39 Every penalty fares scheme which has so far been approved has arranged for appeals to be dealt with by the Independent Penalty Fares Appeals Service (IPFAS), in line with the IPFAS code of practice. We have approved this code of practice for the purposes of rule 9."

"IPFAS is managed by Connex SouthEastern Ltd, but as a separate unit whose management does not report to the commercial director. When the Regulator asked for opinions from the public and the rail industry a few years ago, most people agreed that appeals must be dealt with independently and consistently, but there was little agreement on what the practical arrangements should be"[25]

Manchester Airport Group

"MAG is publicly owned by the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester and is privately managed on their behalf, gives us a unique insight into the value our business brings to the regions of the UK.

Our shareholders are:

The Council of the City of Manchester - 55% The Borough Council of Bolton - 5% The Borough Council of Bury - 5% The Oldham Borough Council - 5% The Rochdale Borough Council - 5% The Council of the City of Salford - 5% The Metropolitan Borough Council of Stockport - 5% The Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council - 5% The Trafford Borough Council - 5% The Wigan Borough Council - 5%"


National Air Traffic Services

"NATS provides air traffic control services at 15 of the UK's biggest airports, and "en-route" air traffic services for aircraft flying through UK airspace"[23]

Navigation Authorities

A quarter of the UKs inland waterways are controlled by 30 navigation authorities drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors. [24]

(The Environment Agency, the Broads Authority and British Waterways Board are subject to the act)

Network Rail

"NRIL operates under a licence granted by the Department under s. 8 of the 1993 Act. It permits NRIL to run the railway network subject to a range of conditions relating to consumer interests, safety, standards of service, financial accountability and corporate governance."[25]

Port Authorities

Speed Camera Partnerships

This would also apply to "Road Safety Partnerships".

Trinity House

The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond is the General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar. Also a Deep Sea Pilotage Authority providing expert navigators for ships trading in Northern European waters.

Royalty, Crown Land and Ceremonial Offices

Duchy of Cornwall

"Under the 1337 charter, and as confirmed by subsequent legislation, The Prince of Wales is not entitled to the proceeds or profit on the sale of assets, and only receives the annual income which they generate, which is voluntarily subject to income tax. Because of the importance of the beneficiary, the Duchy’s ‘trust provisions’ have, over the years, been set out in legislation, with the financial security of the Duchy overseen by HM Treasury." [26]

Duchy of Lancaster

"The Duchy's main purpose is to provide income for the Sovereign as Duke of Lancaster, although the Sovereign is not entitled to any of the capital assets of the Duchy. Established over 700 years ago, the Duchy of Lancaster is a body created under Charter."

High Sheriffs

The role of High Sheriff is largely ceremonial however some important responsibilities remain:

"High Sheriffs are responsible in the Counties of England and Wales for duties conferred by the Crown through Warrant from the Privy Council including: ... The well being and protection of Her Majesty's High Court Judges when on Circuit in the County and attending them in Court during the legal terms. The annual appointment of an Under Sheriff. Acting as the Returning Officer for Parliamentary Elections in County constituencies."

The Royal Household

The Royal Household aims to provide exceptional support and advice to The Queen, enabling her to serve the nation and its people. The Royal Household employs over 1,200 staff.


UK National Standards Body (NSB)

British Standards Institution (BSI)

BSI is a private company with some public responsibilities:

"BSI British Standards is recognised as the UK National Standards Body (NSB) by the UK Government. The UK NSB role is performed by BSI British Standards on behalf of the UK Government and principally involves the representation of the UK in European and International standards fora."