The Freedom of Information Act ('the Act') was passed on 30 November 2000 and came into force in January 2005. It gives the public a right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, but also sets out exemptions from that right. The term 'public authority' is defined in the Act and includes all public bodies and Government departments in the UK. The BBC and other public service broadcasters are only covered by the Act for some purposes of our work.
The BBC, along with many other media organisations is using the Freedom of Information Act to gather information about the operation of other public bodies in order to contribute towards the making of programmes and the content of our websites. This work is part of our core journalistic function and as such is not subject to the Act.
The BBC's commercial subsidiaries are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act. Information held by our subsidiaries, such as BBC Worldwide Ltd, is only covered by the Act if it is held on behalf of the BBC.
The organisations that are affected by the act are:
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