Guide

The Freedom of Information Act

Introduction

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act provides public access to information held by public authorities, such as government departments, local councils and educational institutions.

It does this by allowing the public to request information from public authorities and requiring public authorities to disclose certain information about their activities.

Although it may seem that the FOI Act is only relevant to public authorities, it can also affect private sector businesses dealing with the public sector, perhaps through contracted work or provision of goods and services.

This guide explains how the FOI Act can apply to your business, how to make a request under the FOI Act, what information can qualify as exempt and what to do if you receive a request.