Statement of Public Task

This statement sets out the functions carried out by the Coal Authority (“the Authority”) that are within the Authority’s public task under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005. It is published primarily to provide clarity to re-users and potential re-users of the Authority’s information.

The Authority owns the vast majority of unworked coal in Great Britain, as well as former coal mines. It is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and was established by Parliament under the Coal Industry Act 1994 to undertake a range of statutory functions including:


The Authority’s public task comprises all the functions, duties and responsibilities set out in the following documents:

The Authority’s public task also includes any functions, duties and responsibilities as directed by the Secretary of State. 

Our public task information is available to licence for re-use subject to the exceptions and charges for Authority services as published on this website and set out in the CON29M Reports section (below). Consistent with the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations (SI 2005 No. 1515) the Authority require any proposed use to be other than that within the Authority’s public task.

The Authority will consider any requests to re-use information falling outside its public task. See our IFTS licensing page for our information asset register, applicable terms, conditions, exceptions and charges.

The Authority is accredited to the Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS) managed by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). The Scheme sets and assesses standards for public sector bodies. It requires members to encourage the re-use of information and to ensure that level playing field access is provided to their information assets for both internal and external users.

Whilst requests for re-use need not set out full details of the intended re-use, the Authority must be provided with enough information about proposed re-uses to determine whether or not the proposed new product or service is indeed a re-use, and to determine what terms and conditions should apply to the proposed re-use.

In this regard the Authority acknowledges, understands and respects the importance of commercial confidentiality in all its dealings with the re-use community and is prepared to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with potential information re-users prior to any discussions in these conditions.

CON29M Reports (and equivalent reports in Scotland) not for re-use.

The activity of supplying CON29M reports (i.e. not just the information, but the information formatted into the prescribed layout and content) is also a part of the Authority’s public task. This position has been agreed with OPSI.

Consequently the licensing of the Authority’s coal mining information and data to create equivalent products to the CON29M does not constitute re-use for the purposes of regulation 4 of the Re-Use Regulations and the Authority will refuse requests to licence its data if it is for the production of CON29M coal mining reports or successors or variants to CON29M (or equivalent reports in Scotland) or any similar product which is used to substitute for the users need of the CON29M.

The Authority considers the bundling of a Coal Authority CON29M report into another product or series of products to be an appropriate re-use of the CON29M report.

Re-use is not permitted for the creation of products and services relating to the purchase, sale, mortgage (or further advance), or development of property and land that would replicate or replace the requirement for a CON29M report or impact the property market. 

Products and services falling outside the Authority’s public task for potential re-use.

The following products and services fall outside the Authority’s public task, and are provided by the Authority on a commercial basis:

  • All information other than the CON29M element of Ground Stability  Reports, produced in collaboration with the British Geological Survey  (“the BGS”).
  • All information other than the CON29M element of Enviro All-in-One  Reports, produced in collaboration with GroundSure.
  • Mine Entry Interpretive Report.
  • The Brine element of CON29M reports within the Cheshire Brine Subsidence Compensation Area, produced in collaboration with the Cheshire Brine Subsidence Compensation Board.


This statement is regularly reviewed and is due to be considered again no later than 2014. If you have any queries on this public task statement, you can submit them using our contact us form.

If you wish to challenge the scope of the Authority’s public task or have a complaint about the Authority under the Re-use Regulations, you can submit details using our general complaints handling process.


The Coal Authority has been IFTS accredited

Following a report by OPSI, the Coal Authority has been verified as IFTS accredited.

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