“The Information Commissioner has called for the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) to be updated to include organisations providing a public function.
In a report to Parliament, ‘Outsourcing Oversight? The case for reforming access to information law’, Elizabeth Denham said: “In the modern age, public services are delivered in many ways by many organisations. Yet not all of these organisations are subject to access to information laws.
“Maintaining accountable and transparent services is a challenge because the current regime does not always extend beyond public authorities and, when it does, it is complicated. The laws are no longer fit for purpose.”
She added: “Urgent action is required because progress has been too slow. It is now time to act. This report sets out solutions that can extend the law to make it fit for the modern age.”
Denham said the main aim her report was to make an evidence-based case to extend the reach of FOIA and the EIR “to enable greater transparency and accountability in modern public services, which in turn improves services”.
The Commissioner said in the report that she would welcome a Parliamentary Inquiry via a select committee into the issues raised. The ICO has submitted the report to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and PACAC for their consideration. …”