I need to write an FOI request, I have Heather Brooke’s book and checked the ICO FOI page. Heather is probably best known in this country as the journalist who used the FOI Act to break the MPs expenses story. She later wrote a book about how to use the Act, called “Your Right to Know, A Citizen’s Guide to the Freedom of Information Act”, available from Pluto here, otherwise google it! The book contains some template letters which I propose to use. See below/overleaf …

I made two work templates, these are in word.

  1. FOI for Non Commercial data
  2. FOI for Commercial data, this contains warning around the public authority’s rights to withhold what might otherwise be commercially privileged data

I was pointed at this site, which seems to check progress, route message and publish the results https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/

The text of the Act is on the parliament legislation web site.

The cost limit seems to be £600 for a central govt. query and £450 for other public sector bodies. 3 Oct 2019

I was asked if the police were, exempt, it seems not, although they will have some protection for investigations, google has a lot to say on the topic.

The address for the ICO itself is accessicoinformation@ico.org.uk

4 Replies

  1. Heather says about the police,

    1. Find out who’s got the data, the police, the authority or the Home Office, or the records agencies.
    2. If its a police force, work out which one, and find it’s FOI officer.
    3. Check they haven’t already published it
    4. Ask ’em for it, and if denied, put in an FOI reqest.

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