Freedom of Information statistics

The Cabinet Office has responsibility for Freedom of Information policy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and publishes information on the handling of requests.


We previously identified a small error in earlier published bulletins: FOI requests that were ‘On hold or lapsed’ at the time of monitoring were also being counted as ‘Still being processed’ in error, affecting approximately 30 requests each quarter.

Affected results are the ‘Still being processed’ and ‘Response not yet provided’ columns in Tables 1 & 5 of the 2017 Q1 and Q2 bulletins, and Tables 2, 6 and 7 of the 2016 Annual bulletin, as well as the columns headed ‘Requests still being processed’ and ‘Initial Outcome Response not yet provided’ in the csv data files from Q4 2015 to Q2 2017.

This was corrected in the Q3 2017 bulletin and tables, and we will be correcting previous versions very shortly. All previous versions of the data will be available on a ‘previous versions’ page once updated. We apologise for any inconvenience.

National statistics

Freedom of Information statistics are designated National Statistics in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. National Statistics status means that official statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality, and public value.

All official statistics should comply with all aspects of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They are awarded National Statistics status following an assessment the UK Statistics Authority’s regulatory arm. The Authority considers whether the statistics meet the highest standards of Code compliance, including the value they add to public decisions and debate.

FOI statistics were assessed by the Authority during 2016, with continuing designation granted in June 2017.

Further information on the production of these statistics can be found on our FOI statistics supporting documents page, and the Cabinet Office standards and policies page.

Previous editions of FOI statistics

For all previous editions of FOI statistics please visit our online archive.

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2010 to 2012

Published 26 September 2013
Last updated 16 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Addition of Freedom of Information statistics: July to September 2020.

  2. Addition of the document 'Freedom of Information statistics: April to June 2020'.

  3. Addition of Freedom of Information statistics for January to March 2020.

  4. "Freedom of Information statistics: annual 2019" and "Freedom of Information statistics: October to December 2019" have been added to this page.

  5. We have added Q3 statistics for 2019.

  6. Added Q2 stats

  7. Added 2019 section

  8. Added 2018 Q4 and 2018 annual data. Corrections section updated.

  9. Added July to September 2018 data.

  10. Added note to 2018 section about the change to release date.

  11. FOI statistics from April to June added

  12. We have added January to March 2018 statistics.

  13. We have added statistics for January to March 2018.

  14. There was an error on Slide 14 of the chart in the 2017 Annual bulletin - 'Most commonly used exemptions'. This has now been corrected. The data tables and CSV files were unaffected.

  15. October to December 2017 and annual 2017 FoI pages added to collection.

  16. 2017 Q4 and 2017 Annual statistics added to page

  17. July to September 2017 data added.

  18. Q2 2017 statistics added.

  19. Updated information under 'National statistics' sub-heading, linked to new quarterly statistics.

  20. Updated with October to December 2016 and annual data.

  21. Added July to September 2016 data.

  22. Added April to June 2016 data.

  23. Added January to March 2016 data.

  24. Added Q4 2015 to the collection

  25. Added statistics for July to September 2015

  26. Freedom of information statistics: January to March 2015

  27. Freedom of Information statistics for October to December 2014 and annual published.

  28. July to September 2014 statistics added

  29. Freedom of Information statistics - 1 April to 30 June 2014 published

  30. Freedom of Information statistics: April to June 2014 published

  31. Freedom of Information statistics from 1 January to 31 March 2014 published.

  32. Freedom of Information Statistics - October - December 2013 and Annual added.

  33. First published.