Last reviewed on 21 March 2022
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Know what to do if you receive a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including when you can charge for a response or refuse the request. Download and use our template letters to help you respond to requests.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) is different legislation from the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). FOIA practice has not changed following Brexit.

Dealing with these requests can be tricky. If you have any further questions that aren't covered by this article, contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) directly. 

What a valid request looks like

The request must:

  • Be in writing (e.g. in a letter, an email or on a social networking site)
  • Include the requester's real name or the name of the person or organisation they're acting on behalf of
  • Include an address for correspondence (e.g. a residential or work postal or email address)
  • Describe the information requested, even if this description is broad or unclear

It's likely that most written requests for information will meet these criteria. Even if a request isn't valid, you must provide advice and assistance to the requester, such as by telling