Access Law Overview

The UK Freedom of Information Act received Royal Assent in November 2000 but the main right of access was put off until 1 Januarty 2005. The Campaign for Freedom of Information has produced a full-text version of the UK Freedom of Information Act 2000 which can be downloaded in a single file. You can also find it on Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

The Information Commissioner’s guidance is available here.
The Department for Constitutional Affairs guidance is here.

The FOIA is not the only means of getting information.

A new set of Environmental Information Regulations will be introduced in January/February 2005 providing even greater rights to access environmental information. You can get the latest on the new EIRs from this site and read a potted history of new law here.

The Data Protection Act 1998 governs information about individuals and grants people a right to information about themselves.

A number of local government laws govern public access to local authority meetings and guarantee some additional rights to information. The Local Government Access Laws are outlined here. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently working to integrate the existing local government access regimes with the new FOIA and EIR. Results of this consultation will be posted on YRTK as they happen.

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