Freedom of Information


Freedom of Information

Learn how and why we comply with the FOIA in the United Kingdom.

What is FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (‘the Act’ or ‘FOIA’) was passed on 30 November 2000 and came into force in January 2005. It gives the public a right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, but also sets out exemptions from that right.

Key facts about FOIA

  • Encourages an organisation to be open and transparent
  • Applies to Public Authorities.
  • Affects everyone in the organisation.
  • Statutory duty to implement.
  • Allows anyone, no matter who they are or where they live to make a request for information.
  • Is retrospective in nature.
  • Works in conjunction with the Data Protection Act.
  • 20 working days to respond to request.
  • Specifies exemptions covering information that does not have to be released.
  • Is regulated by the Information Commissioners Office

What happens when I request?

Firstly, all requests must be made in writing. They must also include your name and an address (postal or email).

We will respond to your request promptly and within 20 working days of receipt. However, the Act does allow us to extend this deadline if we need to clarify your request with you, if we are charging you a fee, or if we are considering the public interest test.

We will always acknowledge receipt of requests within five working days. If we need further clarification from you we will write to you promptly to request this clarification. The 20 working days will begin when we receive this clarification. If we are considering the public interest test and need more time we will write to let you know we need to extend the deadline.

Before requesting information

Our website provides information about who we are and what we do, what we have worked on and how we work on it, what our priorities are and how we are doing, how we make decisions and info about our volunteers.

You will also find that lots of information is freely available on our projects and partners websites. We proactively publish project updates and news to those sites.

If you are a journalist you should first contact our Press Team on

How to request

If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for within our digital services, including websites, or by emailing us, then you can contact us to make a request for information.

Requests must be in writing and must include your name and an address (either postal or email). Please try to be as specific as possible about the information that you would like, as this will help us to respond accurately and promptly. Where possible, please include a contact telephone number so that we can contact you to discuss your request if necessary.

Contact us about a request

Please email our Information Officer to create a request for information, on

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