The Deputy will be aware that the Freedom of Information Act was extended to health boards and the local authority sector as from 21 October 1998. Section 15 of the FOI Act requires the production by each public body subject to the Act of a reference book setting out the functions records and a general description of rules and practices of that body, generally known as section 15 FOI reference books. In addition section 16 of the Act required such bodies to publish extensive information in their rules, practices and procedures used for decision making etc., generally known as section 16 FOI manuals.
I am advised that all health boards have produced their section 15 reference books. Similarly virtually all local authorities, including corporations and urban district councils have produced, or have had produced on their behalf, section 15 reference books. A sole exception arises in the case of an urban district council which proposes to publish a joint section 15 and 16 text next week.