The Freedom of Information Act 2000 was passed on 30 November 2000 and came into force on 1 January 2005. It provides a general right of access to information held by a public authority and applies to all information held regardless of when it was recorded.
Key rights and obligations under the act
- has the right to request information from a public authority
- has the right to be informed in writing whether the authority holds the information.
A Public Authority:
- must maintain a publication scheme and publish information in accordance with this scheme
- must respond to a request within 20 working days after receipt of the request which may be extended following clarification of the request if there is uncertainty or a lack of clarity about the information being requested or to consider any exemptions
- has a duty to provide reasonable advice and assistance to anyone making a request;
- may charge the reasonable costs for photocopies and postage for complying with a request
- is not obliged to comply with a request if the costs involved exceed the appropriate limit in the fees regulations of £450 or 18 hours
- may consider the application of any exemptions that apply to requests for specific types of information
- if refusing a request must tell the applicant why and state which exemptions are being used and provide a summary of any public interest or prejudice test in the response.
If you wish to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 please see our Freedom of Information Requests page.