FOIMan sets out to sum up the things you need to know about key sections of the Freedom of Information Act and related legislation.

I want to make sure that everyone who wants to access information, or who has to manage access to that information, can find out about how it should work in an accessible way. There’s lots of guidance, sure, but some people won’t know where to find it, will have limited time to read it, and maybe find it all a bit dry. Perhaps there is a way to sum it all up in a fun and easily digested format.

This series of blog posts will summarise the key sections of these pieces of legislation. It’ll be a slow process, but we’ll get there in the end. In each post I’ll provide:

  • a summary of the section
  • a list of the sorts of information that are likely to be affected
  • the key things that FOI Officers and those inside organisations need to know (eg what the case law and guidance says)
  • the key things that requesters and the public need to know (eg how you can avoid refusals, when and how to challenge a decision)
  • essential case law
  • recommended reading
  • FOIMan says… – links to other posts I’ve written on the subject (where relevant).

There’s no particular priority to the order I will write these in, but if you want me to write about a particular section of legislation, or have comments/corrections to make, please do let me know.

Why The Exemption Index? I’ll be covering more than just the exemptions in Part II of the UK FOI Act, but I’m a sucker for alliteration in a title (it’s either that or The Section Selection). There are worse weaknesses. You’ll always be able to find the latest instalments in the Index by clicking on The Exemption Index in the Categories section of the FOIMan site or visiting this page in the Resources section of the site. And you can make sure you never miss a post by subscribing to the new FOIMan email update.

Freedom of Information Act

Section 12 – the appropriate limit

Section 14 – vexatious requests

Section 21 – otherwise accessible

Section 22 – future publication

Section 22A – unpublished research data

Section 23 – security bodies

Section 24 – national security

Section 25 – ministerial certificates supporting s.23 and s.24

Section 26 – defence

Section 27 – international relations

Section 30 – investigations and proceedings

Section 31 – law enforcement

Section 35 – formulation of government policy

Section 36 – effective conduct of public affairs

Section 40 – personal data

Section 41 – provided in confidence

Section 42 – legal professional privilege

Section 43 – commercial interests