Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) is intended to promote a culture of openness in public authorities and to give people the right to access to the information they hold, with some exceptions.

Although Operation Resolve is not, itself, a public authority under the FOIA, it is an investigation instigated by the Home Secretary and the Act applies to the information which it holds. Any requests for information under the FOIA will be processed by the Home Office and they will respond directly to the applicants.

The Act is fully retrospective and covers all information held by a public authority in a recorded format.

If you wish to apply for your personal information held by Operation Resolve, please see the page regarding Subject Access as such requests are dealt with under the Data Protection Act. 

Will I receive all the information I request?

The Home Office might not provide you with information if it is exempt from disclosure. In such cases, they will inform you which exemptions apply and explain why.

Commonly used exemptions in the FOIA include:

  • Section 12, cost limit if it takes more than 24 hours to search for, identify and retrieve the information, they can refuse the request. In such cases, they would tell you how they estimated the cost limit and advise on how to narrow your request, as appropriate.

  • Section 21, information already in the public domain: if the information is readily accessible, they will advise on how you can access it.

  • Section 22, information intended for future publication: where they have already decided that they will publish the information in the future, and the public interest in withholding it outweighs the interest in release, they will explain this to you and refuse to release it early.

  • Sections 30 and 31, investigations and law enforcement: if the information relates to investigations or law enforcement, and it would not be in the public interest to release the information, they will explain this to you and refuse release.

  • Section 40, personal data: where the information contains personal data belonging to the applicant or someone else they do not normally release the information.

Time Considerations

The deadline for a public authority to respond to requests made under FOIA is 20 working days, although there are some circumstances where this may be extended. If the information requested is subject to certain exemptions where there is a need to consider public interest factors, the 20 working day period may be extended.

How to make a request?

To make a valid request under the Freedom of Information Act, the following criteria must be met:

  • The request must be made in writing
  • It can be made by letter or email
  • It must state the name of the applicant
  • It must contain a correspondence address (this can be an email address)
  • It must clearly identify the information being sought

Requests made to the Home Office under the FOIA should be sent to:

Info.access@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Or by post:

Information Rights Team,
Home Office, 
Lower Ground Floor Seacole Building, 
2 Marsham Street, 
London 
SW1P 4DF

How much does it cost?

Most requests are free but the Home Office may request a small payment to cover photocopies and postage.

Further information about FOIA?

Further Information can be obtained from:

The Office of the Information Commissioner,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
Wilmslow,
Cheshire
SK9 5AF