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Quick Reference Guide

This page is designed to provide you with an overview of the key points relating to the Freedom of Information Act in a question and answer format.

What is the purpose of the Freedom of Information Act?

The Act gives you the right to ask any public body for all the information they have on any subject you choose and ,unless there’s a good reason, the organisation must provide the information within 20 working days.  In doing so it makes the workings of government and public bodies more transparent and accountable.

What rights does the Act create?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives two related rights:

  • The right to be told whether the information exists, and 
  • The right to receive the information (subject to exemptions). 

When did the Act come into force?

The Individual Right of Access came into effect on 1st January 2005. Public authorities also had to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme and the Police Service implemented it's scheme on 30 June 2005.

Do I have to pay for any of the information included in the Publication Scheme?

In the main no.  However, in certain circumstances charges can be levied.  For details of applicable charges please click here.

Will I be able to obtain personal information about myself under the Act?

No.  Any requests for personal information submitted under the Act that specifically relate to the applicant, i.e. personal information will be dealt with under the Data Protection Act as a 'Subject Access' request - see Data Protection and Subject Access.  

Please note that where the constabulary receives a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act relating specifically to the applicant, i.e. personal data, the request will be passed to the Data Protection Team.

How do I obtain information?

Please refer to our web page explaining how to obtain information.

Who ensures that Derbyshire Constabulary complies with the Act?

The Information Commissioner is responsible for ensuring that all public authorities comply with the Act.

What are your procedures for handling FOI requests?

Derbyshire Constabulary is guided in its handling of FOI requests by the ACPO National Manual of Guidance and our own internal force procedure.


Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.