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Freedom of Information Act 2000


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14 June 2009

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) gives everyone the right to request information held by public sector organisations.

The FOI gives individuals the right to ask any public body for all the information they have on any subject. Also, unless there is a good reason, the organisation must provide the information within a month. It is also possible to request personal information held.

Scotland has its own Freedom of Information Act, which is very similar to the England, Wales and Northern Ireland Act.

Public Sector organisations covered by the Act:

government departments and local assemblies;

local authorities and councils;

health trusts, hospitals and doctors’ surgeries;

schools, colleges and universities;

publicly funded museums;

the police; and

many other non departmental public bodies, committees and advisory bodies.

Any person can make a request for information under the Act - there are no restrictions on age, nationality, or residence. All sorts of information can be requested. However some information might be withheld to protect various interests- defined by the Act. If this is case, the public authority must explain why they have withheld information. If information about an individual is requested then it will be handled under the Data Protection Act instead of the Freedom of Information Act.

Jane Coyle is a trainee solicitor at Lawdit and can be contacted at

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-07-05 18:13:49 in Legal Articles

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