What are Freedom of Information requests?

What are Freedom of Information requests?

Freedom of information (FOI) gives you the right to ask any public sector organisation for information they hold. Anyone can request information. You can also ask for information about yourself under data protection legislation.

What types of information can be accessed under the Freedom of Information Act?

The Act covers all recorded information held by a public authority. It is not limited to official documents and it covers, for example, drafts, emails, notes, recordings of telephone conversations and CCTV recordings.

How do I write a letter requesting freedom of information?

You should give:

  1. your name (not needed if you’re asking for environmental information)
  2. a contact postal or email address.
  3. a detailed description of the information you want – for example, you might want all information held on a subject, or just a summary.

How do you respond to a Freedom of Information request?

How to respond to an FOI request

  1. release the information, if you have it.
  2. acknowledge that you do not hold the information.
  3. transfer the request to another authority, if they have this information.
  4. withhold the information by applying an exemption (if you have valid reasons) and explain why.

Can I charge for a freedom of information request?

Communicating that information to the requestor. This generally means that a public authority can only charge for expenses actually incurred, for example, photocopying or postage. However, a public authority can charge for complying with the request.

How much does it cost for a Freedom of Information request?

Freedom of Information requests – used by campaigners and journalists to ask questions of public bodies – are to remain free of charge, a minister says. Following a review of the law, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock said the FoI Act was “working well”.

How much can I charge for a FOIA request?

The FOIA permits HHS to charge fees to FOIA requesters. For noncommercial requesters, HHS may charge only for the actual cost of searching for records and the cost of making copies. Search fees usually range from about $23 to $83 per hour, depending upon the salary levels of the personnel needed for the search.

Is ICO a legal requirement?

The Data Protection Act requires every data controller who is processing personal information to register with the ICO, unless they are exempt. Failure to notify where required to do so is a criminal offence. Most organisations that handle personal information must register (notify) with the ICO.

What type of documents are not allowed in the Freedom of Information Act?

Information/data that is NOT covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) includes: Non-agency records and personal records. Public requests for access to physical artifacts or scientific samples (e.g. core samples, sediment, rocks, fossils, specimen samples, blood samples).

What is an example of a FOIA request?

On (date), I requested documents under the Freedom of Information Act. My request was assigned the following identification number: __________. On (date), I received a response to my request in a letter signed by (name of official). [Optional] The documents that were withheld must be disclosed under the FOIA because….

How to make a freedom of Information request?

If you are unsure what documents exist, or an agency’s staff requires a written request, you will have to make what is called a FOIA request (or ” FOIL ” — Freedom of Information Letter). Making a FOIA request simply means writing a letter requesting the documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

Can a FOI request be made to a public body?

Any official information held by public bodies can be sought under the Act. However, in order to allow FOI bodies to properly conduct their business, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt from release, certain types of information in some circumstances.

Do you know about the Freedom of Information Act?

Every state has a law, modeled on the federal Freedom of Information Act, affirming the public’s right to see government documents. The federal FOIA permits “any person” to request access to agency records, including citizens and non-citizens, corporations, universities,…

Where can I find a list of FOIA requests?

You can find a lot of useful information on a range of topics on each agency’s website. You can also search for information agencies have already posted online here on FOIA.gov. If the information you want is not publicly available, you can submit a FOIA request to the agency’s FOIA Office.