There are more than 200 Non-Departmental Public Bodies across the UK and they complete important work at an arms length from the government’s control – but are offshoots of central government bodies.
Many have been closed in recent years but the bodies that still exist include the Health and Social Care Information Centre, The National Archives and the FOI regulator the Information Commissioner’s Office.
NDPBs can be described as following:
“In the United Kingdom, non-departmental public body (NDPB) is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, Treasury, the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to quangos (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations). NDPBs are not an integral part of any government department and carry out their work at arm’s length from ministers, although ministers are ultimately responsible to Parliament for the activities of bodies sponsored by their department.”
As many of these NDPBs are small organisations they have FOI requests answered for them by the overarching government department. This means that the email addresses listed for them can be to the central body – I have highlighted these in red – and to increase the chances of getting a response the request should mention the NDPB.
Also highlighted in red are bodies that aren’t covered by the Act.