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Timeline :: Freedom of Information Act

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The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives people a general right of access to information held by, or on behalf of, public authorities, and promotes a culture of openness and accountability in public sector bodies. In January 2005 members of the public gained the right to make a request for any information held by a public authority, to which the authority must respond. The authority is obliged to release such information unless it is not in the public interest to do so, it would costs a lot of money to seek it, or doing so would damage an individual's commercial interests. The Act does not provide right of access to personal information, but this may be accessed under the Data Protection Act 1998, subject to certain exemptions. Service users can ask for access to their case records under this Act.