What does the Freedom of Information Act allow citizens to do?

What does the Freedom of Information Act allow citizens to do?

generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.

What is the purpose of freedom of information?

The proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) Act aims to mandate the disclosure of public documents. The proposed bill also outlines the exceptions for public disclosure and the procedures for accessing public documents.

How does the Freedom of Information Act affect me?

FOI gives you the right to: Access records held by FOI bodies. Have your personal records corrected if the information is incorrect, incomplete or misleading. Get a reason for decisions made by public bodies that affect you.

What are the nine exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act UK?

Non-absolute Exemptions – public interest test does apply:

Section of the FOI Act Exemption
S(2) 36 Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs
S(2) 38 Health & Safety
S(2) 39 Environmental information
S(2) 40 Personal information relating to a third party

What are the 9 FOIA exemptions?


  • Exemption 1. Protects information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.
  • Exemption 2. Protects records related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.
  • Exemption 3.
  • Exemption 4.
  • Exemption 5.
  • Exemption 6.
  • Exemption 7.
  • Exemption 8.

What can be requested under Freedom of Information Act?

Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations you have a right to request any recorded information held by a public authority, such as a government department, local council or state school. You can ask for any information you think a public authority may hold.

What are the advantages of freedom of information?

Easier information access; greater public awareness of laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures; enhanced government efficiency and responsiveness; greater public participation in federal government affairs; enhanced public confidence in the federal government; and better quality information at reduced cost.

What are the three main obligations under the Freedom of Information Act?

publicise the fact that people can make freedom of information requests to you; provide contact details for making a request, including a named contact and phone number for any enquiries about the Act; and. tell people who you think may want information that they can make a request, and tell them how to do this.

Can you refuse a GDPR request?

You can refuse an entire request under the following circumstances: It would cost too much or take too much staff time to deal with the request. The request is vexatious. The request repeats a previous request from the same person.

What are 4 of some of the exemptions of FOIA?

Exemption 2: Information related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency. Exemption 3: Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law. Exemption 4: Trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is confidential or privileged.

Can you FOIA a police report?

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of 1966, you can request access to federal agencies’ records. If you want to obtain information from police reports, you should file a FOIA request.

What is data protection and freedom of information?

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives any individual (data subject) the right to request access to all the information held about them. This is a Subject Access Request. Anyone can make a request for information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.

What is the Freedom of Information Act and why is it important?

It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement.

What is an exclusion from the Freedom of Information Act?

The third exclusion is limited to the FBI and protects the existence of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, or international terrorism records when the existence of such records is classified. Records falling within exclusion are not subject to the requirements of the FOIA.

How do I file a freedom of Information request?

If the information you want is not publicly available, you can submit a FOIA request to the agency’s FOIA Office. The request simply must be in writing and reasonably describe the records you seek. Most federal agencies now accept FOIA requests electronically, including by web form, e-mail or fax.

What does the USA Freedom Act mean for Your Privacy?

The USA Freedom Act put new limitations on what data can be collected and how intelligence agencies could collect such records and data. In contrast to the previous bulk collection, under the USA Freedom Act, the NSA is only allowed to obtain the data of a specific person, not an entire company.