The Committee on Open Government oversees and advises the government, public, and news media on Freedom of Information, Open Meeting, and Personal Privacy Protection laws. It also offers guidance in response to phone inquiries, prepares written legal advisory opinions, and provides training for governments and interested groups.
The Committee publishes a range of reports, including a comprehensive report on the UK’s intelligence agencies, and an analysis of the government’s handling of the recent coronavirus crisis. It is a non-departmental public body funded by the House of Commons and the Government.
In accordance with the Rules of Procedure, the Committee is responsible for examining evidence submitted to it in connection with the determination of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations. It makes its advice to the WHO Director-General, who has the final decision on whether to declare a PHEIC. The Committee can make formal Temporary Recommendations as appropriate.
The Committee’s investigation into ‘partygate’ led to the resignation of Boris Johnson as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip. This explainer outlines the process of how the committee conducted its inquiry, and the evidence it considered.