The Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act received Royal Assent on 30 November 2000 and is part of the Government's commitment to greater openness in the public sector. Subject to certain exemptions, it gives a right of access to recorded information that is held by public organisations. This right applies to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Key Facts About the FOI Act
- Encourages an organisation to be open and transparent
- Applies to Public Authorities.
- Affects everyone in the organisation.
- Statutory duty to implement.
- Allows anyone, no matter who they are or where they live to make a request for information.
- Is retrospective in nature.
- Works in conjunction with the Data Protection Act.
- 20 working days to respond to request.
- Specifies exemptions covering information that does not have to be released.
- Requires the NHS East Riding of Yorkshire to set up and maintain a publication scheme that tells the public what information is held.
- Is regulated by the Information Commissioners Office.
Environmental Information Regulations
The Environmental Information Regulations give members of the public the right to access environmental information held by public authorities. The request can be made by letter, email, telephone or in person.
The regulations apply to most public authorities, but they can also apply to any organisation or person carrying out a public administration function, and any organisation or person under the control of a public authority who has environmental responsibilities.
Environmental information is divided into the following six main areas:
- The state of the elements of the environment, such as air, water, soil, land, fauna (including human beings)
- Emissions and discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste and other such substances
- Measures and activities such as policies, plans, and agreements affecting or likely to affect the state of the elements of the environment
- Reports, cost-benefit and economic analyses
- The state of human health and safety, contamination of the food chain
- Cultural sites and built structures (to the extent they may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment)
If a public authority receives a request for information on any of the areas mentioned above, they are legally obliged to provide it, usually within 20 working days. There are a number of exceptions to this rule.
The Information Commissioner's Office
The Information Commissioner (ICO) is an independent official appointed by the Crown The ICO enforces and oversees the Data Protection Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Environmental Information Regulations, and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.
Freedom of Information at NHS East Riding of Yorkshire
Click Here to find out more about Freedom of Information at NHS East Riding of Yorkshire.
Click Here to find out more about Data Protection and the Caldicott Guardian.
Click Here for information on how to use the Freedom if Information Act responsibly.
Click Here to see and find out more about our publication scheme.
Click Here to see reports showing how we are doing responding to Freedom of Information requests
Click Here to see our Disclosure Log showing previous Freedom of Informatin requests and responses
Click Here to find out how to make a request
Click Here to leave feedback on any aspect of Freedom of Information at NHS East Riding of Yorkshire
Freedom of Information Act
Information Commissioners Office Website
Ministry of Justice Website
Data Protection Act