Freedom of Information Act

The Act covers any recorded information that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland. Information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by Scotland’s own Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces. However, the Act does not necessarily cover every organisation that receives public money. For example, it does not cover some charities that receive grants and certain private sector organisations that perform public functions.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities.

It does this in two ways:

  • Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities
  • Members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.com of Information Act