Cut to the chase with the Freedom of information act

The freedom of Information act 2000 (FOI) was implemented to ensure a transparent society, with constituent queries being answered upon request. It gives the public “right of access” to information held by public authorities. The rights mentioned in the act are exercised continuously by Journalists as responses can uncover leads.

Who exactly has to respond to request under the Freedom of Information act?

There are over 23,000 public authorities the UK.

  • Central Governmental bodies such as, Disclosure and barring service (DBS)
  • Local and regional 
  • Health
  • Education
  • Environment and agriculture
  • Emergency Services
  • Transport and Infrastructure
  • Groups of public authorities
  • Law making bodies, the courts and the legal system
  • Media and culture
  • Military and Security Services
  • Recreational such as sport, theatre and dance.
  • Other such as Court Inns, inquiries, Royal Duchies
  • Defunct Bodies

How to make an FOI Request

Here are the instruction for making a request from the Information commissioners office (ICO) themselves.

  1. contact the relevant authority directly;
  2. make the request in writing, for example in a letter or an email. …
  3. give your real name; and.
  4. give an address to which the authority can reply.

Whatdidtheyknow?.com‘ is a great resource as it helps you make an FOI request. It also provides you with a database of successful, unsuccessful and unresolved requests the you can browse through with keywords.