Last edited 14 Jan 2021

Public body

The term ‘public body’ refers to a formally-established organisation that is typically created by statute and publicly funded for the purposes of delivering a public or government service.

Public bodies include:

‘Arm’s length bodies’ (ALBs) are a particular type of public body that are administratively classified by the Cabinet Office. Such ALBs include executive agencies, non-departmental bodies (NDPBs), and non-ministerial departments (NMDs).

ALBs are so-called because they carry out their operations at a remove from ministers rather than as being an integral part of a government department, although ministers hold ultimate responsibility to Parliament for the activities of these bodies that their department sponsor.

Some public bodies can be classified and registered by the Charities Commission as charities. These bodies are established for charitable purposes only and are subject to the control of the High Court’s charity law jurisdiction.

For more information see:

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