Frequently Asked Questions about FOIs

FAQs about the Freedom of Information Act

Freedom of Information Act FAQs

The Freedom of Information Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities. Any person who makes a request to a public authority for information must be informed whether the public authority holds that information and, subject to exemptions, supplied with that information.
Any individual or organisation can make a request for information. They do not need to be UK citizens or residents.
We aim to provide information listed in the Publication Scheme within 20 working days of receipt of the request.
Requests are usually free of charge, although depending on the nature of the request a fee may be involved.

An authority can refuse a request if it estimates that it will cost them in excess of the appropriate cost limit to fulfil your request. The limit is £450 for public authorities.

A request may refused for information where:
  • The request is vexatious or repeated.
  • The cost of complying with the request exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450
  • The information requested falls under one of the exemptions