How to make a freedom of information (FOI) request

If your request is turned down

Some sensitive information is not available to members of the public. If this applies, an organisation must tell you why they cannot give you some or all of the information you requested.

They might ask you to be more specific so they can provide just the information you need.

An organisation can also refuse your Freedom of Information (FOI) request if getting information will cost more than £450, or £600 if the organisation is:

  • a government department, Parliament or part of the armed forces
  • the Northern Ireland Assembly or the Welsh Assembly
  • based in Scotland

An organisation can refuse your request for environmental information, if they think the cost of getting the information is too high.

Reviews and complaints

If an organisation does not provide you with the information you requested, you should first ask them to review their decision.

If you’re not satisfied with the organisation’s response, you can complain or appeal to the information commissioner for: