Freedom of Information Act

Under FOIA ( Freedom of Information Act), you have a right to request any recorded information held by a public authority, such as a government department, local council or state school.

  • You can ask for any information you think a public authority may hold. The right only covers recorded information which includes information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.
  • You should identify the information you want as clearly as possible.
  • Your request can be in the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, but the authority does not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded.
  • Some information may not be given to you because it is exempt, for example because it would unfairly reveal personal details about somebody else.

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