The Freedom of Information Act encourages public authorities to make as much information as possible available to the public proactively. We do this by publishing the data that people need to understand who we are, what we spend and what we achieve.
Under the Act, we are required to adopt a publication scheme which contains information we routinely make available, and ensure that information is published in accordance with the scheme. Available information is grouped under the following ‘classes of information’.
Who we are and what we do
What we spend and how we spend it
What are our priorities and how are we doing
How we make decisions
Our policies and procedures
We also publish information on:
- our lists and registers
- the services we offer
We generally won’t publish information that is:
- protected from disclosure
- in draft form
- no longer readily available
Archived information previously on our website is available from the National Archives website.
The Cabinet Office Open Data Strategy sets out the context and background to our approach; outlines the types of data we hold and how we intend to treat it in line with our drive to greater transparency.
As a department, our commitments are:
- to make transparency a part of how we operate
- to move to publishing data by default wherever possible
- to publish data in line with the public data principles
- to make datasets available for re-use, and in a re-usable format where reasonable and practical
- to keep our data under review, so as to examine and improve the amount and frequency of data released into the public domain
- to link all datasets released on www.data.gov.uk
Requesting information, giving feedback and further information
We make a significant amount of information available under our scheme. One of its benefits is that it makes information easily accessible without charge. This means that, in many cases, the information you are looking for will already be available and there will be no need for you to make a formal request under the Act.
You can email a request including the words ‘publication scheme’ in the subject heading. There is no charge for information which is provided electronically.
If you ask for information available on our website to be provided in paper format it may be necessary to make a charge. Each case is considered separately. For example, if a large amount of photocopying is required, or if the cost of postage of a large volume of paperwork is very high.
Most of the information included in our scheme will be current. However, for certain classes of information, it may be necessary to publish the information retrospectively.
Information will not be available through the publication scheme indefinitely. We are committed to providing the public with as much information as is practically possible. It is important that the information we provide is relevant and up to date.
We welcome your feedback on our progress and your suggestions for data you would like us make available. You can also comment on specific datasets on www.data.gov.uk. The Freedom of Information Act encourages public authorities to make as much information as possible available to the public proactively.
The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the Freedom of information policy in the UK. Alternatively you can telephone the Ministry of Justice on 020 7210 8500.