The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) establishes the disclosure regime for information held by public authorities or by persons providing services for public authorities.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Text) only applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a separate Act introduced to Scotland.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Text) gives the public a general right of access to information held by public authorities. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Text) also requires public authorities to have an approved publication scheme. The scheme provides the means for the public to access information which an authority has published pro-actively. Some information may be more popular with the public or more important than other information publicly-held. Public authorities will tend to provide details of their own publication schemes on their websites.
When responding to requests, there are procedural requirements set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Text) which an authority must follow. There are also valid reasons for withholding information, which are known as exemptions from the right to know. An exemption might include information which identifies a living person - personal information which is protected under data protection laws.
Freedom of Information Act Resources
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Text)