The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

About the Guide to freedom of information

What's new

  1. We have recently published a FOI self assessment toolkit to to help public authorities respond to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests as organisations prepare to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. We have updated our guidance about refusing a request, and have changed the following sections:
    • when you can use an exemption to neither confirm or deny you hold information, if to do so would disclose personal data; and
    • when you can refuse a request because it contains personal data.
  1. We have also updated our guidance on section 27 - international relations.


In line with ‘Opennness by Design: The Information Commissioner’s strategic plan 2019/20-2021/22’, we have begun to review and update our Freedom of Information Guidance. Updates will be placed here when updated guidance is published.


This guide is for those who work for a public authority and have day-to-day responsibility for freedom of information.

It explains how to apply the Act by giving practical examples and answering frequently asked questions.