CHAPTER 1: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND THE DATA PROTECTION ACT

The Freedom of Information Act 2000, which came into force on 1 January 2005, is essentially about promoting open government. It is primarily a means of increasing transparency in official decision-making and procedures, and enabling citizens to hold government to account.

There are two main themes to the Act:

•  encouraging public authorities to publish more information as a matter of course, through ‘publication schemes’; and

•  providing a right of access to unpublished information held by (or on behalf of) public authorities.

The Act is applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is a separate piece of legislation in Scotland, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) ...

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