Right: Grahame Morris MP (photo: http://grahamemorrismp.co.uk/)
Right: Grahame Morris MP (photo: http://grahamemorrismp.co.uk/)

A bill aiming to get private companies who are spending public money covered by Freedom of Information will have its second reading in January. 

The bill, which is titled ‘Freedom of Information (Private Healthcare Companies) Bill’ is due to be debate by MPs on January 24th.

It has been propose by Labour MP Grahame Morris under the 10 minute rule.

When talking about the Bill for the first time in October he said:

Private health care companies should not be permitted to hide behind a cloak of commercial confidentiality. Billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being awarded to private sector companies under barely transparent contracts. Meanwhile, private companies are free to benefit by gaining detailed knowledge of public sector bodies through their use and submission of FOI requests. The same information is then used by the private sector to undercut or outbid the very same public sector bodies when contracts are tendered or put up for renewal.

However, it is unlikely the Bill will become law as the Government have already stated that its position on private companies using public money is that they should be held to account with FOI by the use of clauses in their contracts.

The passage of the Bill can be found here.

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.