Petition Make Universities UK subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
We ask that the appropriate Government Minister make an order under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 5(1) designating Universities UK as a public authority, so making Universities UK subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Universities are rightly subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Universities UK is an organisation consisting of the heads of higher education institutions defining itself as “the voice of universities”. In doing so Universities UK functions as a public organisation (and of a public nature), and so should also be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Other similar sector-wide organisations have been so designated by this method.
Universities UK does not meet the criteria for being added to the scope of the Freedom of Information Act as set out in sections 4 and 5 of the legislation, and there are no plans to alter these.
Schedule 1 to the FOI Act lists bodies that are covered by the FOI Act. For a body to be added to this schedule they must meet certain conditions set out in Section 4 of the FOI Act.
Briefly, they must be established by either a Minister of the Crown, a Government Department or by legislation, and appointments to the body must be made by the same. Under Section 5 of the FOI Act, the Government can designate as a public authority any body which appears to exercise functions of a public nature or is providing a function of a public authority under contract.
Universities UK do not meet the above conditions and are therefore not
covered by the FOI Act. The Government has currently no plans to alter the criteria for bodies that should be covered by the FOI Act.
At 100,000 signatures...
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament