Image credit: fernando butcher / Creative Commons / Flickr

More than two years after Theresa May suggested the Police Federation should be covered by the FOI Act, it has happened.

In 2014, the prime minister, who at the time was the Home Secretary, said the Police body should be covered by the transparency legislation. She toldĀ its annual conference the Federation was in greater need of accountability and transparency.

This was repeated in 2015, with May promising to create the law that would bring the Federation under FOI.

In 2016 the Policing and Crime Bill was put before parliament and debated. It’s passage through the House of Commons and House of Lords took the entire year, with it finally receiving royal assent on January 31 2017.

This means the Police Federation is now covered by FOI Laws. This was first highlighted by MySociety.

“I know that some of you will find these changes unpalatable. In particular, I know that some of you will find the Freedom of Information Act an unwelcome intrusion,” May said in her 2014 speech.

“But the Police Federation is an organisation created by statute, it serves a public function and the Normington Review demonstrated very clearly that it is an organisation in need of greater transparency and accountability.”

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.