Freedom of Information and Data Protection
Our FOI and Local Government project is the first systematic study of the objectives, benefits and consequences of FOI and English local government. The study evaluates the impact of the legislation by speaking to selected officials who work with it across 15 different local authorities and conducting a survey of FOI officers in local authorities across England. The project also surveyed requesters who use FOI, interviewed local journalists and analysed media articles that report FOI. Local government in Britain has been a focus of more than two thirds of all FOI requests. Understanding the impact of FOI on local government is central to a wider understanding of how the Act is working.
The Freedom of Information Act (and Environmental Information Regulations) cover UK universities. They present both an opportunity and a threat to academics. The threat was shown by ‘climate-gate’ at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which revealed confusion amongst the academic community about the requirements of the FOI Act and the EIRs, and prompted wider discussion on what research information should be shared with the public. Yet it is also an opportunity for academics, as requests can be used as a research tool. But it is not clear how much FOI is being used, or how effectively, by academic researchers.
Over 90 countries around the world have some form of Freedom of Information regime. Some international organisations do too. Each month (date in brackets) we put together information about a different one.
- The Impact of FOI on Parliament
- The Impact of FOI on Whitehall
- Monthly Updates
- Guidance for practitioners
- Read more in our FOI archive