What is the purpose of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act?
To give the public greater access to information about the workings of government and public bodies.
What new rights does the Act create?
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives two related rights:
- The right to be told whether the information exists, and
- The right to receive the information (subject to exemptions).
(Subject to availability within the Publication Scheme)
When did the Act come into force?
The Individual Right of Access came into effect on 1st January 2005. Public authorities also have to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme. The Police Service had to have such a scheme in place by 1 January 2005.
Do I have to pay for any of the information included in the Publication Scheme?
Details of charges applicable can be found in the Publication Scheme.
Does the Act only apply to records created from 1st January 2005?
No, the Act is fully retrospective.
Will I be able to obtain personal information about myself under the Act?
Requests for personal information will be dealt with under the Data Protection Act.
How do I go about requesting information?
Please refer to our how to obtain information page.
Who ensures that Avon and Somerset Constabulary complies with the Act?
The Information Commissioner is responsible for ensuring that all public authorities comply with the Act.