[Image credit: Machiel van Zanten via Flickr / Creative Commons Licence]

The Freedom of Information Act is getting expanded in the UK. A huge radical change isn’t happening but there are a load of new bodies that are going to be classed as public authorities under the law.

This means the number of organisations you can make an FOI request to is going up. In total 15 more bodies are being covered by FOI. It’s not a huge number but there’s more transparency for all. (This should be celebrated!)

As first spotted by the eagle-eyed folks over at Panopticon, 11KBW’s law blog, The Freedom of Information (Additional Public Authorities) Order 2018 statutory instrument will bring more groups under FOI.

Of note is the Surveillance Camera Commissioner (there’s no Biometrics Commissioner included though) and the Housing Ombudsman. The bodies will be covered by FOI from May 1.

The full list is as follows:

  • The Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse.
  • The British Film Institute.
  • The Committee for the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes.
  • The Committee on Fuel Poverty.
  • The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation.
  • The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.
  • The Housing Ombudsman.
  • The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.
  • The Independent Commission for Aid Impact.
  • The Independent Monitoring Board for the Military Corrective Training Centre.
  • The Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales.
  • The National Independent Safeguarding Board.
  • The Regulatory Policy Committee.
  • The Service Complaints Ombudsman.
  • The Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

On the same day as these bodies start to be covered by FOI, there will also be a number that are no longer covered by the transparency law. The majority of these, as far as I can tell don’t exist anymore.

  • The Advisory Panel on Beacon Councils.
  • The Advisory Panel on Standards for the Planning Inspectorate.
  • The Animal Procedures Committee.
  • The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency.
  • The Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency.
  • The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.
  • The Commission for Integrated Transport.
  • The Community Development Foundation.
  • The Design Council.
  • The Disability Employment Advisory Committee.
  • Equality 2025.
  • The Farm Animal Welfare Council.
  • The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group.
  • The Independent Board of Visitors for Military Corrective Training Centres.
  • The Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales.
  • The Office of the Renewable Fuels Agency.
  • Remploy Ltd.
I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.