Freedom of Information Act 2000

Freedom Of Information Act 2000

UK Legislation
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Freedom of Information Act 2000

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The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c.36) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is the implementation of freedom of information legislation in the United Kingdom on a national level. It is an Act of Parliament that introduces a public "right to know" in relation to public bodies. The Act implements a manifesto commitment of the Labour Party in the 1997 general election, developed by Dr David Clark as a 1998 White Paper. The final version of the Act is believed to have been diluted from that proposed while Labour was in opposition. The full provisions of the act came into force on 1 January 2005.

The Act is the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor's Department (now renamed the Ministry of Justice). The Act led to the renaming of the Data Protection Commissioner (set up to administer the Data Protection Act), who is now known as the Information Commissioner. The Office of the Information Commissioner oversees the operation of the Act.

A second freedom of information law is in existence in the UK, the Freedom of Information Act 2002 (asp 13). It was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2002, to cover public bodies over which the Holyrood parliament, rather than Westminster, has jurisdiction. For these institutions, it fulfils the same purpose as the 2000 Act.

Around 120,000 requests are made each year. Private citizens made 60% of them, with businesses and journalists accounting for 20% and 10% respectively. Journalists' requests took up...
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