British Government claims it wants to extend Freedom of Information Act

By Warwick Ashford |

The UK’s Freedom of Information Act is to be extended beyond public sector bodies, it emerged at a conference hosted by the Information Commissioner’s Office in London yesterday.

The government plans to extend the Act to allow requests for information about private sector companies carrying out public sector duties, justice minister Michael Wills said.

“We are carrying out consultations and will announce the results soon. There is going to be an extension,” he told attendees of the Private Data, Open Government conference.

Wills was responding to a question in an open debate about data privacy and freedom of information in government.

The news of the planned extension of the Freedom of Information Act was greeted with approval from conference attendees and fellow panellist, Sir Allen Beith.

“Where private sector companies carry out public duties it is only right that the Freedom of Information Act should apply,” he said.