- Is listed in schedule 1, or
- Is designated by order under section 5, or
- A publicly-owned company as defined by section 6.
Schedule 1 suggests that public authorities include:
- Government departments.
- Legislative bodies.
- The armed forces.
- Local government.
- The National Health Service.
- The Police.
- Maintained schools.
- Further and higher education institutions.
- Other public bodies, including individually named non-departmental public bodies.
Section 4(4) of the Act permits certain additions to and removals from schedule 1.
Section 5 permits the Secretary of State to designate bodies as public authorities if they appear to be carrying out functions of a public nature or are contracted to provide a service which is a function of a public authority.
Section 6 suggests that a company is publicly-owned if:
- It is wholly owned by the Crown,
- It is wholly owned by the wider public sector, or
- It is wholly owned by the Crown and the wider public sector.
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