This article provides information regarding the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the Act") gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities.

The intention of the Act is to promote a greater degree of openness amongst public authorities, by providing people with rights of access to information held by public authorities, in two ways:

  • Firstly, all Public Authorities must make some standard information about themselves available to people through a Publication Scheme (section 19 of the Act), and;
  • Secondly, anyone has the right to make a request for any information held by a Public Authority (whether or not it is included in a publication scheme) and, subject to a number of exemptions relating to tests of public interest, the public authority must comply with the Act in responding to the request.

A Public Authority is loosely defined as a public body which exercises public functions. Under the Act, all educational institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (except nursery schools) are classed as public authorities and therefore the Act applies to this University.

A significant exemption from the requirement to provide information is that relating to personal data. Personal data that relates to any individual is exempt from disclosure under the Act, as the right of access can be properly exercised under the Data Protection Act.

For information about making a request visit the Freedom of Information webpages at :