Public task

The term ‘public task’ is an important concept in the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (the 2015 Regulations). It is one of the main factors determining whether information produced, collected or held by a public sector body falls within the scope of the 2015 Regulations.

The National Archives has updated its guidance to assist public sector bodies in defining and publishing a statement of their public tasks under the 2015 Regulations:

Guidance on public task statements (PDF 2.02 MB)

Examples of public task statements

The National Archives has published its own statement of public task: The National Archives’ Statement of Public Task (PDF, 86.6KB).

Some examples of public task statements issued by other public sector bodies include:

Statements published by Information Fair Trader Scheme members are available on our IFTS Members page.

What is ‘public task’?

Public task relates to your core role and functions. Your core role and functions may be statutory or established through custom and practice. There are no definitive statements on what is meant by the term in the 2015 Regulations.

Why is a clear statement of public task important?

Public task statements help public sector bodies to establish:

  • which activities fall within its core responsibilities and those of a more optional (and often commercial) nature
  • what information is available for re-use
  • how bodies use and re-use their own information and the terms of that re-use
  • whether the terms of the 2015 Regulations apply to requests for re-use
  • what criteria for charging above marginal cost, if permitted, should be applied
  • what licence terms should be applied
  • whether complaints about re-use can be made under the 2015 Regulations