3. How to make an FOI request

You can contact an organisation directly by letter or email to make a freedom of information (FOI) request.

Requests can also be made verbally and by social media.

When making your request, you should include:

  • your name
  • an address where you can be contacted
  • a detailed description of the recorded information you want

You don’t need to give your name if you request environmental information.

Find contact details of the government department, agency or public body you want to make an FOI request to.

Most requests are free but you might be asked to pay a small amount for photocopies or postage. You will be told by the organisation if you have to pay anything.

You should receive the information within 20 working days. If the organisation needs more time, they will contact you and tell you when you can expect the information.

You could check to see if the organisation you are making an FOI request to has given the information before as a result of someone else’s request. Organisations may publish this information on their website.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.