Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) gives any person, of any nationality, anywhere in the world the right to request official information from public authorities. This right is subject to certain exemptions.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 received Royal Assent on 30 November 2000.
For the purposes of the Act, the Office for Disability Issues is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Main features of the Act
- The Act provides a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. This right is subject to certain exemptions most of which require case by case consideration of the balance public interest.
- All public Authorities are required to adopt and maintain a publication scheme, which specifies the classes of information the authority publishes (or intends to publish), the manner in which it is published and whether the information is available free of charge or on payment of a fee. Each scheme must be approved by the Information Commissioner.
- The Act applies to a wide range of public bodies, including agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies as listed in the schedules to the Act.
- The Information Commissioner is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Act as well as approving Publication Schemes and promoting compliance with the Act. The Commissioner has powers of enforcement.
The Act came fully into force on 1 January 2005 for government departments only – and different dates for other public bodies.
Freedom of Information Act 2000
Lord Chancellor's Code of Practice on the discharge of public authorities' functions - Section 45 of the Act
Detailed guidance on applying exemptions has been produced
The Freedom of Information Act supersedes the non statutory Code of Practice on Access to Government Information 1997.
Beyond the Office for Disability Issues
Page last reviewed: 01 November 2010