The UK Freedom of Information Act has been in operation for more than ten years and allows anyone, anywhere in the world, the ability to ask public bodies in the United Kingdom for information.

These bodies, which range from central government and its agencies to schools and councils, have to provide a response by law. In most circumstances they must give the information, unless one of the Act’s exemptions apply.

Everything in this guide 

The following pages give more information about the FOI Act and the rights of a requester.

What is the UK Freedom of Information Act?

Who is covered by the Freedom of Information Act?

How to send a request under the Act

Know your rights

How to complain about a request

The authority has not responded to my FOI request

Freedom of Information exemptions

Tips for making a request

Sections of the Act 

Below is a table of all the sections of the FOI Act, which link to the legislation’s text. If you would like to download or access this table in Google Drive it can be found here. 

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.