Freedom Of Information
What is the Freedom of Information Act?
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities.
It does this in two ways:
- Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and
- Members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.
The Act covers any recorded information that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces. Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and sound or video recordings.
The Act does not give people access to their own personal data (information about themselves) such as their health records or credit reference file. If a member of the public wants to see information that a public authority holds about them, they should make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998.
How to request information
Anyone has a right to request information from the Consortium. As the Consortium we have a duty:
- To tell the applicant whether or not we hold the information falling within the scope of the request; and
- To provide the information
We have 20 working days to respond to your request, counting the first working day after the request has been received as the first day.
To be valid under the Act, the request must:
- Be in writing (this could be a letter or email, requests can also be made via the web, or even on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter)
- Include the requester’s real name
- Include an address for correspondence; and
- Describe the information requested.
To make a request under the Freedom of Information Act please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.