An exclusive agreement is where a public sector body grants an organisation sole right to re-use particular information. Exclusive agreements are prohibited under section 14 of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.
There are two important exceptions: first, if there are no alternatives to providing a public task service, and second, for digitising cultural resources.
- Exclusive arrangements are permitted when a public task service cannot be provided otherwise
- These arrangements must be reviewed at least once every three years to ensure the reason(s) for exclusivity remain valid
- Details of any such arrangement entered into on or after 31/12/2003 must be published
- Exclusive arrangements are permitted to digitise cultural resources
- These arrangements should not exceed 10 years. If it does exceed 10 years, the duration must be reviewed in the 11th year and every 7 years after, if applicable
- Details of any such arrangement must be published
- The public sector body must have access to the information during the term of the agreement, and it must receive one free copy of a digitised resource at the end of the agreement
- Any other exclusive arrangements existing on 17 July 2013 must be terminated no later than 18 July 2043
Reviews of public sector body exclusive licences
The National Archives undertook reviews in 2008 and 2010 (under the 2005 regulations) into the potential existence of exclusive agreements by central government departments, devolved administrations and Trading Funds.