Requests for Information
The Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act) allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to make a written request for information to any UK public body or agency, subject to certain conditions and exemptions, and expect a reply within 20 working days.
The Freedom of Information Act (2000) legislation gives the right of access to all types of information held by the NHS and its partners.
It gives the public both the right to be told whether information exists and the right to receive the information, subject to certain exemptions, details of which are listed below.
There are various exemptions to disclosing information under the Freedom of Information Act.
These come into play:
- if the information can easily be accessed by other means – e.g. the internet or published documents
- if the information is personal information
- if the information is provided in confidence (but only if legally enforceable)
- when there is a legal reason not to disclose
- if the information is about national security, defence, the economy, law enforcement, formulation of Government policy, health and safety, communications with Her Majesty or other royalty, international relations, intended for future publication and commercial interests. However, all exemptions in this group must be tested to see if disclosure is in the public interest.
In addition to these exemptions, the CCG can withhold information if it will take more than two-and-a-half days to provide it, or we cannot identify what information is needed (although we have to work with the requester to clarify what is being requested). The CCG can also withhold information if it is considered that the request is vexatious.
Our Publication Scheme sets out our commitment to make certain classes of information routinely available, such as policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports and financial information.