The term public task is used in the Regulations on the Re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI Regulations) and is one of the factors that determine whether information produced,  collected or held  by the public sector falls within the scope of the PSI Regulations. 

The National Archives has developed guidance, see below, that will assist public sector bodies to define and publish a statement of their respective public tasks. This guidance was developed following discussion and consultation with expert practitioners in the field. We welcome any comments on this guidance document from practitioners. Please send comments to standards@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk.

How to produce a statement of public task guidance document (PDF, 0.00Mb)

The National Archives has also developed a set of principles against which statements of public task can be assessed.

Public task principles (PDF, 0.04Mb)

Why is a clear statement of public task important?

There are a number of reasons why a clear statement of public task is important. The main ones are:

  • it helps to establish whether the terms of the PSI Regulations apply
  • it establishes whether complaints about re-use can be made under the PSI Regulations
  • it helps to establish what criteria for charging for re-use should be applied

Which public sector bodies need to publish a statement of their public task?

This is necessary where the public sector body:

  • trades in information and charges for re-use of the information; and/or 
  • licenses information under delegated authority from the Controller of HMSO or the Queen's Printer for Scotland

Which public sector bodies do not need to publish a statement of their public task?

  • Those that allow re-use of information under the Open Government Licence or a similar open licence; and/or
  • Those whose information falls outside the scope of the PSI Regulations (including libraries, schools, universities, public sector broadcasters and museums)
  • Please note, public sector bodies that are also covered by INSPIRE will still need to understand and define their public task for the purposes of that Directive.

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