The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to access recorded information held by public sector organisations.
The Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to access recorded information held by public sector organisations. Anyone can request information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.
Your request will be handled under different regulations depending on the kind of information you ask for, such as the:
- Data Protection Act if you ask for information an organisation holds about you
- Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) if you ask for environmental information.
Some requests might be refused if the information sought is sensitive or the cost to provide it is too high.
How to make a request
Before making a request
You might not need to make a request to get the information you need. The WRA might be able to give you information straight away if you contact us. We will publish responses to freedom of information requests online.
What to include in your request
If you want to make a request you need to provide:
- your name (not needed if requesting environmental information)
- a contact address (email or postal)
- a detailed description of the information you want - for example, you might want all information held on a subject, or just a summary
You can ask for information in a particular format, such as:
- paper or electronic copies of information
- audio format
- large print
Send your request for information to:
When you’ll get a response
We will acknowledge your request and you should get the information within 20 working days. We will tell you when to expect the information if we need more time to provide it.
When your information will be shared
If it seems likely that you’ve sent a request to several government departments, your name and request may be shared with them. This is to help deal with your enquiry more effectively. No other details will be shared and your information won’t be used for any other purpose.
Most requests are free, but you might be asked to pay a small amount for photocopies or postage. We’ll tell you if you have to pay anything before we respond.
Check the copyright status of information you receive if you plan to reproduce it.
If your request is turned down
Some sensitive information isn’t available to members of the public. If this applies, we will tell you why we can’t give you some or all of the information you requested.
We might ask you to be more specific so we can provide just the information you need.
We can also turn down your request if it will cost more than £600 to find and extract the information.
Reviews and complaints
If we don’t provide you with the information you requested, you can ask us to review our decision. If you don’t agree with our decision you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.