Difference between revisions of "Freedom of Information Act 2000"

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(How to make a request)
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* [[Section43|Section 43]]: Commercial Interests  
 
* [[Section43|Section 43]]: Commercial Interests  
 
* [[Section44|Section 44]]: Prohibitions On Disclosure
 
* [[Section44|Section 44]]: Prohibitions On Disclosure
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== External Links ==
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[http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/plain/ukpga_20000036_en Freedom Of Information Act - legislation as originally enacted]
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[http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=All+Primary&PageNumber=7&BrowseLetter=F&NavFrom=1&activeTextDocId=1876329&parentActiveTextDocId=1876329&showAllAttributes=0&showProsp=0&suppressWarning=0&hideCommentary=1 Freedom Of Information Act - current text of legislation]
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[http://www.dca.gov.uk/foi/reference/legislation.htm Department of Constitutional Affairs compendium of FOI legislation]

Revision as of 18:31, 16 July 2008

Introduction

This section of the wiki provides more details on the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Name and Address

  • You don't need to provide a real name, a pseudonym is acceptable
  • You need to provide "an address for correspondence". This means that either an email address OR a physical address is required.

How to make a request

Any person can make a request under the Act - there are no restrictions on your age, nationality, or where you live.

All you have to do is write to (or email) the public authority that you think holds the information you want. You should make sure that you include:

  • your name & and address where you can be contacted
  • a description of the information that you want

You can make a request to public authorities using the WhatDoTheyKnow web site, the site lists over 1,700 UK public authorities.

Timelines

Public authorities have 20 working days to send you the information you've requested. There are a few rules and exemptions to this:

  • The clock starts the working day after you make your request. If you request on a Friday, the clock starts from Monday.
  • The authority should reply back to you within 20 working days
  • UK Bank Holidays are excluded from the working day calculation
  • If the authority needs to clarify your request, the 20-day clock won't start until they have received the full clarifications they need to identify and locate the information.
  • If the authority needs to charge fees to retrieve information, the 20-day clock stops when they tell you this, and won't start again until the cheque you've sent has cleared
  • The authority can "reasonably" extend the time required, eg to consult third parties, or to apply a Public Interest Test. If they do this, they should send you a Section 17 Refusal Notice.
  • There are a few other special cases where they can extend the deadlines:
Special cases - Section 10(4) of the Act provides for an extension to the 20 working days timescale, up to 60 working days, to be made by statutory instrument. So far, four cases have been identified for such treatment:
  • to deal with school holidays, since the school will not be staffed at that time;
  • when frontline units of the armed forces are impossible to reach for operational reasons;
  • if a public authority needs to consult posts, governments or companies abroad to obtain information; and
  • when the National Archives need to determine whether requested information in a transferred public record that has not been designated as open information is exempt, or whether the duty to confirm or deny is excluded under Part II.
DCA Guidance.

Exemptions guidance

External Links

Freedom Of Information Act - legislation as originally enacted Freedom Of Information Act - current text of legislation Department of Constitutional Affairs compendium of FOI legislation