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Frequently asked questions

Helpful information and guidance on issues we're commonly asked about under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Under the Freedom of Information Act, anyone can make a request to a public authority for information.

How do I make a request?

A request must be made in writing (e-mail and fax is acceptable) and it must state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence. The request must also describe the information requested.

How long will it take to get a response?

The FOIA requires public authorities to comply with requests for information within 20 working days following receipt of the request.

Where a public authority is considering the application of an exemption that is subject to a public interest test, the FOIA requires the authority to reach its decision "within such time as is reasonable in the circumstances."

What information is available under FOI?

Information that is recorded, i.e. written down or stored electronically. You also have a right to access information that may be held by a third party on behalf of the public authority.

If a FOI request is refused, will I be told why?

If we decide not to disclose the information that has been requested, you are entitled to know why. We must give notice that the information is available but is not being disclosed and must specify the relevant exemption(s) being relied upon. The Trust will also explain why exemptions apply in that particular case.

What are my rights if I am not satisfied with the response received following an FOI request?

If you are dissatisfied with our response, you are entitled to an internal review where we have made a decision under Part 1 of the Act.

Should an applicant remain dissatisfied with the outcome following an internal review, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner's Office who will investigate the complaint and determine whether the FOI request has been managed in accordance with legislation. Details on how to contact the ICO can be found on our internal review page.