§ Lord Lucas
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Which public bodies (a) they intend to designate by order under Clause 4 of the Freedom of Information Bill; (b) are a publicly-owned company as defined in Clause 5 of that Bill; and (c) are public bodies neither in (a) nor (b) above nor in Schedule 1 to the Bill. [HL2059]
§ Lord Bach
Clause 4 of the Freedom of Information Bill requires my right honourable friend the Home Secretary to consult every person to whom an order relates or persons appearing to him to represent such persons. We have still to consult formally as required under Clause 4 and, therefore, it is not possible to provide a list of bodies which will be designated under this part of the Bill. Our enquiries to date have, however, identified a number of bodies which we believe are likely to meet the criteria set out in respect of bodies designated under Clause 4. These are set out in the following list. Some of the bodies are listed in their own right and others by means of a generic description. The list does not represent a final list of bodies which may be designated as public authorities for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Bill.
Clause 5 of the Bill provides that a company is publicly-owned for the purposes of the Bill if it is wholly owned by the Crown, or it is wholly owned by any public authority listed in Schedule 1 to the Bill other than (i) a government department, or (ii) any authority which is listed only in relation to particular information. Subsections (2) and (3) clarify the meaning to be given to "wholly owned by the Crown" and "wholly owned by a public authority" for these purposes and set out other definitions. The effect of Clause 5 is that a company which meets the criteria is caught by the freedom of information regime. Because we are using a generic definition we have not compiled 124WA a separate list of bodies which may be covered by Clause 5.
Clauses 2 to 6 of the Freedom of Information Bill provide for coverage of all public bodies, either by means of a generic description of by specific inclusion in a list or an order. Bodies which might qualify for inclusion in the list at Schedule 1 have, however, not been so listed where we are satisfied that the body will have ceased to exist when the Bill comes into force, have no separate identity from a parent organisation, or are not yet established. In the latter case, the body will be brought within scope of the legislation by order.
There are two exceptions to the principle that all public bodies are to be covered by the Bill. Clause 21(3) provides that any information provided by, or relating to, specified bodies is exempt. The specified bodies are the Security Services, the Secret Intelligence Service, the Government Communications Headquarters, the Special Forces (Special Air Service and Special Boat Service) and the National Criminal Intelligence Service. This has the effect of excluding those bodies from the scope of the Bill. In addition, certain Scottish bodies are exempt from the order-making powers in the Bill. These bodies are the Scottish Parliament, any part of the Scottish Administration, the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body or any Scottish public authority with mixed functions or no reserved functions within the meaning of the Scotland Act 1998. Legislation in respect of those bodies is a matter for the Scottish Parliament.
Preliminary List of Bodies Considered for Designation Under Clause 4 of the Freedom of Information Bill
The National Institute for Agricultural Botany
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Rail Users' Consultative Committees
Persons or bodies authorised by the Legal Services Commission under section 4(8) or 12(4) of the Access to Justice Act 1999 to accredit persons or bodies providing services of the descriptions set out in section 4(2) of the Access to Justice Act 1999, or providing services which may be funded by the commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service.
Bodies responsible for regulating the provision of legal services (including the Law Society, the Bar Council, the Institute of Legal Executives).
Bodies receiving grant-in-aid or grant from the Lord Chancellor for marriage and relationship support services. Bodies receiving grant-in-aid or grant from the Lord Chancellor providing advice and support to parents of abducted children.
Persons or bodies accredited by the Lord Chancellor to carry out paternity testing.
Bodies appointed under section 4(1) of the Public Records Act 1958 as places of deposit for public records insofar as their internal administrative records relating to those public records are concerned.
Ofwat Customer Service Committees
Ofwat National Consumer Council
General Lighthouse Authorities
Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee
Housing Organisations Mobility and Exchange Services.
National Society for Clean Air
Public functions carried out by contractors appointed by the Driving Standards Agency on behalf of the Secretary of State to deliver the statutory theory tests for learner drivers.
Public functions of any body authorised by the Driving Standards Agency on behalf of the Secretary of State to conduct all or part of the statutory driving tests for learner drivers. Public functions of any body appointed by the Driving Standards Agency on behalf of the Secretary of State to conduct the statutory theory tests for persons seeking to join the register of approved driving instructors. Public functions of any body authorised by the Driving Standards Agency on behalf of the Secretary of State to provide approved training courses for riders of mopeds and motor bicycles.
Private bodies and individuals to which the Maritime and Coastguard Agency delegates public functions in relation to surveys of UK ships and training and certification of seafarers.
Public functions carried out by contractors under the Local Authorities (Contracting out of Tax Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996 (S1 1996 1880).
Public functions carried out by auditors appointed by the Audit Commission under the Audit Commission Act 1998.
The Energy Saving Trust Ltd. in respect of the public functions it carries out on behalf of DETR.
Public functions of the Institution of Civil Engineers
Public functions of the Civic Trust
Public functions of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.
- Geffrye Museum
- Horniman Museum
- Museum of Science And Industry In Manchester
- Cultural Strategy Group for London
- Gaelic Broadcasting Committee
- Financial Services Authority
- Electricity Consumers' Committees
- National Consumers' Consultative Committee
- Council for Registered Gas Installers (Corgi)
- National Proficiency Test Council
- Silsoe Research Institute
- United Kingdom Accreditation Service
- British Standards Institute
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Fleet Air Arm Museum
- Royal British Legion
- Royal Marines Museum
- Royal Naval Museum
- Royal Naval Submarine Museum
Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association—Forces Help.
- Navy, Army, Air Force Institute
- Regular Forces Employment Association
- Services Sound and Vision Corporation
- Royal Hospital Chelsea
- Atomic Weapons Establishment
- Commonwealth Institute
- Commissioner for Irish Lights
- Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
The Boards established under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1960.
- General Optical Council
- Royal Medical Colleges
Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in respect of its statutory functions, and those of any of its committees or officers (these are currently to be found in the Pharmacy Act 1954 and the Medicines Act 1968), and any non-statutory public functions relating to the regulation of the pharmacy profession.
- Association of Child Psychotherapists
- British Psychological Society
- Institute of Food and Science Technology.
- Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice.
- Local Authority co-ordinating body on food and training standards.
- Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene
- Royal Society for Health
- Royal Society of Medicine
- Society for Food Hygiene Technology
- Specialist Training Authority for the Royal Medical Colleges.
- The Institute of Biology
- The Psychological Society
Providers of care under the Registered Homes Act 1984 including hospices, secure mental health units and private hospitals receiving NHS patients for treatment.
Voluntary adoption agencies registered on behalf of the Secretary of State to make arangements for adoptions.
Voluntary organisations and charities operating under the terms of service or other forms of financial agreements with the local authorities in respect of the discharge of their social services functions.
Bodies who are contracted by the Secretary of State, or who are sub-contracted by the contractor, to provide or run a prison or part of a prison in accordance with section 84 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (as substituted by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994), or to provide prisoner escort and custody services under section 80 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (as amended by section 93 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994).127WA
Bodies delivering education services to prisons and prisoners under contract.
Bodies providing library services to prisons under contract.
Bodies participating in the running of prison industries under contract or in partnership with the prison service and bodies participating in the provision of work for prisoners in a joint venture scheme with the Prison Service British Board of Film Classification.
- Cable and Wireless
- Documents Evidence Limited
Forensic Alliance (including AEA Technology, Cellmark Diagnostics and Forensic Access) (provider of forensic science service for public authorities under contract).
- Immigration Advisory Service
- Index of Exempted Dogs
- The Jockey Club
- The National Greyhound Racing Club
Port of Tilbury London Ltd in respect of powers to appoint constables by virtue of paragraph 12 of Schedule 4 of the Port of Tilbury Transfer Scheme 1991.
- Refugee Legal Centre
- Scientifics (provider of forensic science service for public authorities under contract).
- Support After Murder and Manslaughter
- Victim Support
- Video Appeals Committee
- Basic Skills Agency
- British Academy
- Capita Business Services Ltd (in respect of contract services).
- Careers Services
- Centre for Information on Language, Teaching and Research.
- Further Education Development Agency
- GS Medical Advisers (in respect of contract services).
- Higher Education Statistics Agency
- National Institute for Adult Continuing Education
- Prudential Assurance Company Ltd (in respect of contract services).
- Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
- Technology Colleges Trust
- Tourism Quality Services Ltd
- Training and Enterprise Councils
- Training Standards Council (in respect of contract services).
- Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
- Advisory Body on Fair Trading in Telecommunications.
- Advisory Committee on Telecommunications for Disabled and Elderly People.
- Communications for Business
- Advertising Standards Authority
- Hearing Aid Council
- Severn River Crossings Ltd
- UK Highways (A55) Ltd
- Road Safety Council of Wales
- Adas Consulting Ltd
- Wales Youth Agency
- Foods Standards Agency (Welsh Executive)
- Advisory Committee for Wales
- Wales Council for Voluntary Action
- University for Industry
- The Financial Reporting Council
- The Accounting Standards Board
- The Financial Reporting Review Panel Ltd
- Association of Certified Chartered Accountants1, 2 & 3
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales 1, 2 & 3
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland1, 2 & 3
- Association of Authorised Public Accountants1
- Association of International Accountants2
- The Insolvency Practitioners Association3
- The Law Society of Scotland3
- Jfmg Ltd (Joint Frequency Management Group)4
- Assay Offices of United Kingdom5
1In respect of functions performed under s. 30 and Sch. 11 to the Companies Act 1989 for the supervision of auditors in Great Britain.
2In respect of functions performed as a body declared under s. 32 and Sch. 12 to the Companies Act 1989 as offering a recognised qualification.
3In respect of its functions as a recognised professional body for the purposes of s. 391 to the Insolvency Act 1986.
4In respect of functions performed under s. 1 to the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.
5In respect of functions performed under the Hallmarking Act 1973.