Wednesday, 3 June 2009

FOI to apply to suppliers? has pointed out that there is an impending extension of Freedom of Information powers to cover suppliers (see here for the article).

However, I believe that software and associated service suppliers will not be affected – any extension is likely to be limited to BPO contractors – and not software suppliers operating on either a conventional licensing or SaaS approach.

It will be interesting to see where any extension stops as far as IT services and managed services are concerned. Where a managed service is limited to supplying a working computer system for use by public sector employees and/or their contractors, then I believe that any FOI extension will not affect this sort of service any more than current contracts/legislation require.

Where a service supplier provides a fully-outsourced IT service, any extension is likely to be less well defined. My personal view is that FOI should not apply to such contracts, but from the comments flying around at the moment, I believe that there is pressure to bring these types of contracts into the FOI arena. This will no doubt provide lots of work for the legal profession over the coming months/years....

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