Bodies covered by RPSI are referred to as public sector bodies and are listed in regulation 3. They include central and local government and a number of other specified bodies. Regulation 3(1)(aa) is a general clause that defines other bodies covered by RPSI.

RPSI applies to libraries (including university libraries), museums and archives. However,documents held by educational and research establishments, public service broadcasters and cultural and performing arts bodies (other than libraries, museums and archives) are excluded.

RPSI is UK-wide, ie it applies to public sector bodies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The ICO will deal with complaints about public sector bodies in any part of the United Kingdom.