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Freedom of information

This page provides links to legal texts and useful web pages to use the rights of access to information and documents held by UK or EC public bodies, such as regulatory agencies.

UK, England, Wales and Northern Ireland public authorities

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides the public with rights of access to information held by UK public authorities. Despite being enacted in 2000 the act only came into force on 1 January 2005.

Rights of access are limited on cost grounds by The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. The Government has proposed additional limitations in late 2006. The consultation on this proposal closed in March 2007.

Scottish public authorities

For Scottish public authorities, the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002 applies instead.

The Scottish regulations on cost-based restrictions and fees for expensive requests are generally more generous than those under the UK act: the obligation to disclose applies when the estimate is less than 600 (450 or 600 under the UK regulations) and the notional hourly rate for calculating this cost is capped at 15 (25 under the UK regulations). In 2007 the Scottish Executive announced that it did not see a need for additional restrictions.

The Scottish Information Commissioner's website has an overview of other differences between the UK and Scottish regimes.

European Union institutions

Council Regulation 1049/2001 governs public access to documents held by European Union institutions. The European Commission initiated a review of these rules in April 2007.

The European Commission has a good document search and request function at:

UK and Scotland dispute resolution

Disputes about the application of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 are determined by the Information Commissioner. The Information Tribunal hears appeal against his decisions. Appeals from the Information Tribunal are to the High Court (England and Wales), the Court of Session (Scotland) or the High Court in Northern Ireland.

The Scottish Information Commissioner has similar functions in Scotland. Appeals from his decisions are to the Court of Session.

Disclosure logs

Many public authorities maintain logs on their websites of information disclosed under Freedom of Information which they consider likely to be of wider interest.

In Reckon's areas of interest, disclosure logs or equivalent resources are produced by the following bodies:

The following bodies might have been expected to have a disclosure log but do not seem to (the link is to the most relevant page found on the site):

Please complete or correct these lists if you find errors or omissions.

Other links

Additional links to useful resources are welcome.

This page is managed by Reckon LLP. Users are encouraged to contribute relevant views and links. Use the "Edit this page" or "Add a comment" button above to edit the text or to add comments and notes. Advice on making contributions (including trackback) is in the Guidelines.

Last changed by Franck at 7:35 AM on Sunday 13 July 2008.

Reference for this page:
Reckon Open "Freedom of information" 2008-07-13T07:35:03
Link within Reckon Open: [[Freedom of information]]