Freedom of information


The following pages detail how to make a freedom of information (FOI) request to government organisations.

Government organisations include government departments, agencies, and local councils.

Under a FOI request, you can apply to:

  • access government information
  • access personal information
  • correct personal information
  • seek an internal review of a decision.

Government organisations must provide you with the information unless one of the specific refusal reasons set out in the Information Act 2002 apply.

These reasons can be that:

  • the information is already publicly available
  • it's not in the public interest to do so
  • the information is subject to an exemption.

The organisation must give you written reasons for its decision. If you disagree with the outcome, you can seek a review of the decision.

Sometimes you can get the information you want more quickly and cheaply through an organisation's access scheme. You should contact the department and ask or check their website.

Government departments have an extensive collection of publications available online, including annual reports.

Useful links

For more information about FOI and requests, go to the following web pages:

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Last updated: 02 September 2020

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