3. How to make an FOI request

Contact an organisation in writing to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. This can be by:

  • letter
  • email
  • fax

What to include

You should give:

  • your name (not needed if requesting environmental information)
  • a contact address
  • a detailed description of the information you want - eg you might want all information held on a subject, or just a summary

You can ask for information in a particular format, eg:

  • paper or electronic copies of information
  • audio format
  • large print

When you’ll get a response

You should get the information within 20 working days. The organisation will tell you when to expect the information if they need more time.


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

Check the copyright status of information you receive if you plan to reproduce it.