Cabinet Office to consider extending Freedom of Information to private providers

Supply Management has reported that the Cabinet Office (CO) is considering an extension of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to cover contractors providing public services. The new Cabinet Office Code of Practice covering FOI is expected to be issued in the autumn and, according to the CO, “If necessary the CO will consider whether other changes (including the formal extension of the Freedom of Information Act) might be needed”. The measure comes in response to suggestions by the Public Accounts Select Committee, which has already called for an extension of the FOI to private providers. The CO said it would work with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in drafting the new code. The CO would also review contingency plans to ensure service continuity in the event of supplier failure, as well as trial a wider use of open book accounting.