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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives members of the public the right to request official information from public authorities. The aim of the Act is to promote greater openness and transparency.

The Act operates alongside the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) which gives people access to environmental information held by public authorities and the Data Protection Act 2018 which allows individuals to access information held about them – see our Accessing health records and personal information page for details.

The Act applies to most public authorities and governs access to corporate information. The Act’s sets out three main provisions for public authorities, these are to:

  • Inform a person making a request whether information of the description specified in the request is held
  • Communicate the information held to the applicant unless an exemption exists
  • Adopt and maintain a publication scheme - this is information regularly published by an organisation.  Our Guide to Information gives details about the information we routinely make available.