Freedom of Information Act 2000

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) also amends the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Public Records Act 1958.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Text) only applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a separate Act introduced to Scotland.

Promoting openness

foi compliance, freedom of information actThe 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 policy is led by the Ministry of Justice and is supervised and enforced by the Information Commissioner in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 applies to Scotland and is supervised / enforced by the Scottish Information Commissioner.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Text) was amended by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 regarding information belonging to the Royal Family

Freedom of Information Act Resources


Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Text)