Take action: Freedom of Information to cover private companies
New petition pushes for change in the law
Campaign group 38 Degrees have started a petition asking the government to extend Freedom of Information laws to cover private companies.
The potential to extend the power of FoI requests comes as the existing rules come under review.
What are companies like G4S spending our public money on?
Any extension of the powers would be good news for Ethical Consumer's procurement campaign as it would be much easier to hold those who receive tax payers' money to account.
Bex Haye of 38 Degrees in a communication with its members said:
"What are Serco and G4S spending our public money on? Right now, none of us have the right to know. Because private companies hired by the government aren’t covered by transparency laws.
But this could change. The government’s “considering” extending Freedom of Information laws to cover private companies. It’ll mean we can finally see what’s going on behind closed doors - in privatised NHS services, failing prisons and anything else that’s been flogged to the highest bidder.
The public deserves the right to know what anyone who spends public money is up to."
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, said that hundred of millions of pounds goes to private businesses in the form of government contracts, they too should be subject to Freedom of Information rules.
“Taxpayers spend close to £200 billion every year on goods and services with third party providers, the majority of which goes to private companies. These firms are already difficult to hold to account and often operate with little transparency."
Sign the petition on the 38 Degrees site