Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act forces public authorities to provide information to member of the public. Public authorities include:
- the government
- police forces
- companies that are owned by the State such as BBC, some railway companies etc .
The FOI Act does this in two ways:
1) Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities
2) Members of the public are entitled (allowed) to request information from public authorities (and they can't just say no without an allowed reason)
Information can be refused (not given out) if:
a) It is sensitive information and giving it out would breach the Data Protection Act rules
b) To give it out would be too expensive, or time consuming. For schools, councils etc the limit is £450 , for the Government and Military the limit is £600.