Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act creates a right of access to recorded information and obliges a public authority to:
- Have a publication scheme in place
- Allow public access to information held by public authorities
The Act covers any recorded organisational information such as reports, policies or strategies, that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland. However, it does not cover personal information such as patient records which are covered by the Data Protection Act.
Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces.
The Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner who regulates both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.