Who is subject to the freedom of information regime
Who is subject to the freedom of information regime

The following Public Law guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Who is subject to the freedom of information regime
  • In brief
  • Public authorities
  • Exclusions

In brief

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FIA 2000) grants a right of access to information held by public authorities. Under this right, any person making a valid request for information to a public authority is entitled:

  1. to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds the information requested, and

  2. if that is the case, to have that information communicated to them

As a result public authorities have a corresponding duty to confirm or deny in writing whether such information is held and if it is, to communicate that information to the applicant. The regime applies to 'public authorities', a term which is defined by FIA 2000 as any body which, any other person who, or the holder of any office which is:

  1. listed in Schedule 1 to FIA 2000

  2. designated as such by an order of the Secretary of State, or

  3. a publicly owned company

This note shall discuss who is caught by the regime, and for more information on the topic generally see Practice Notes:

  1. Introduction to freedom of information

  2. Compliance with a freedom of information request

  3. Absolute exemptions to a freedom of information request

  4. Qualified exemptions to a freedom of information request

For guidance from the Information Commissioner (ICO) on who is subject to the regime see:

  1. What is the Freedom of Information Act?

  2. Are