Freedom of Information Act

Constitutional Affairs written question – answered on 13th October 2005.

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Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald Shadow Secretary of State (Justice), Shadow Secretary of State

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether it is Government policy that (a) regional development agencies, (b) regional chambers, (c) the Local Government Association, (d) the Greater London Authority, (e) the English Regions Network, (f) regional housing boards, (g) regional transport boards, (h) the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government Funding, (i) parish councils and (j) the Association of London Government fall under freedom of information legislation.

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Minister of State (Department of Constitutional Affairs), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Regional development agencies, the Greater London Authority, parish councils and the Association of London Government are currently covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Information relating to regional housing boards is held by their secretariat, the Government Offices for the regions, who are covered by the Act.

Regional chambers, the Local Government Association, regional transport boards, the English Regions Network and the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government Funding are not covered by the Act. Where there are member organisations that are public authorities, such as local authorities, the information they hold is covered by the Act.

The organisations set out that are not covered by the Act do not meet the current coverage criteria specified in sections 4 and 6 of the Act. However, under section 5 of the Freedom of Information Act, the Secretary of State can bring under the Act an organisation that appears to him to have functions of a public nature. No organisation has yet been covered by the Act in this way. The coverage of the Act is kept under review.

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