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Public sector bodies

State, regional or local authorities, bodies governed by public law and associations formed by one or several such authorities or one or several such bodies governed by public law.

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And for the layman?

The definition has an "and" and four "or"s and the boolean syntax is not entirely clear to me.

And what does "governed by public law" mean? Does it mean there has to be a law that created the body that says what it has to do? What about bodies entirely or part-funded with state money?

Is this an exact definition, or is there a grey area that can be acknowledged? And where would well-known bodies fall, e.g. GM schools, academies, universities, ONS, BBC, OfGEM, Ordnance Survey, Land Registry, East Coast Trains, RBS.

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Other definitions are available...

ONS has to determine which bodies fall within the public sector for a wide range of purposes, including statements of the public finances and the national accounts.  It can all get rather arcane (and beyond lay persons like me) and can, I think, depend on whether their borrowing is backed by Treasury as a last resort and such stuff.  However, when one organisation was reclassified recently into the public sector, I have a feeling that it brought them within the scope of FOI; should it do the same for open data initiatives?

I'm not seriously suggesting a definition consisting of twenty pages of fianancial and other minutiae but it is probably worth considering whether the two should be broadly in step, and if so to what extent.

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