The Freedom of Information Act 2000 was passed with the intention of making public authorities in the UK more accountable and transparent. It creates a general right of access for individual citizens to information held by public bodies. This is the piece of legislation which Tony Blair famously regretted – according to his published memoirs. The duty to provide information is very wide ranging but does have a list of exemptions, especially in relation to personal information on living individuals. UCL comes within the scope of the Act, so we have a duty to answer FOI requests appropriately.
Just this week a copyright question came along which also includes aspects of FOI and that led me to discover the existence of UCL’s excellent FOI service and to contact Alex Daybank of Legal Services, who is responsible for addressing Data Protection and FOI questions. If you are within UCL and you have any questions about FOI please feel free to contact Alex via the dedicated FOI email address: firstname.lastname@example.org