The guide builds on recent developments: the Institute for Government's report 'Read Before Burning' which recommended that ALBs publish information on their status and operations in a standardised format online, in turn improving the transparency of their organisations; the Public Chairs' Forum's desire for ALBs to be at the cutting edge of transparency best practice; and the Government's ambitious transparency agenda, with a commitment to extend transparency to 'every area of public life'.

This guide also builds on the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) detailed guidance on the type of information that it expects non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) to provide in order to meet their Freedom of Information commitments and the Cabinet Office Principles of Good Corporate Governance in Executive NDPBs, released in June 2011 which makes an 'explicit commitment to openness in all activities'.