Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS) and regulation

The Office of Public Sector Information, part of The National Archives, runs the Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS), which sets and assesses standards for public sector bodies.

It requires them to encourage the re-use of information and reach a standard of fairness and transparency.

Information Fair Trader Scheme accredited logo

On behalf of the UK Government, The National Archives is working to transpose amendments to the Directive on the Re-use of Public Sector Information into UK law. We have conducted an impact assessment and are running a consultation exercise from August to October 2014 to seek views on the proposals.

To join the scheme, a chief executive makes a personal commitment to information fair trading.

An example of the commitment the chief executive makes on joining IFTS.

Once the chief executive of the organisation has made his or her statement of commitment, we carry out a verification to satisfy ourselves that the administrative processes to support the commitment are in place and being followed.

Some elements of the IFTS commitment fall outside the scope of the Public Sector Information Regulations and we will also investigate complaints of this nature.

Any public sector body can apply to become an IFTS member, whether or not they are a Crown body.

IFTS online is an accreditation scheme that measures how effectively public sector organisations manage the re-use of their information.

Most government information should be made available for re-use at marginal cost. In practice this often means free of charge, especially where the information is published online. We have developed a series of tests, or criteria, to help assess whether charges are appropriate.