The Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives you the right to access recorded information held by public sector organisations.
Anyone can request information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.
Your request will be handled under different regulations depending on the kind of information you ask for, such as the:
- Data Protection Act if you ask for information an organisation holds about you
- Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) if you ask for environmental information
An organisation could refuse your request if the information is sensitive or the costs are too high.
Before you make a request
You might not need to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to get the information you need.
An organisation might be able to give you information straight away, including over the phone. You can also check published responses to FOI requests.