The UK Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives you the right to access recorded information held by public sector organisations (WFD is a public sector organisation). Anyone can request information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.
You might not need to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to get the information you need. WFD might be able to give you information straight away. You can also check published responses to FOI requests. At WFD, we publish responses to freedom of information requests online (see our disclosure logs).
To make an FOI request to WFD, please contact us in writing via letter or email. Normally, you will get the information within 20 working days.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) includes exemptions that apply to certain types of information, such as information relating to national security or international relations. Under the Data Protection Act we are under a legal obligation to protect information about third parties. This right takes precedence over the FOIA requirement, so if we receive requests for information that include third party data we anticipate that we will usually refuse the request or remove text for reasons of confidentiality. We will indicate in the document where portions have been removed and the reasons for doing so. The specific exemptions used will be cited by WFD when a refusal is made. To see a list of the exemptions, please visit http://www.opsi.gov.uk/. We reserve the right to apply exemptions in areas other than Data Protection as they arise. Please see the ‘Complaints Procedure’ for information about appealing against a refusal.
If you feel that WFD is avoiding its duties under the Act, please contact us to express your concerns. If you disagree with a decision for non-disclosure of information under the Act, you have the right to appeal to the Chief Executive and have your request reviewed by a different officer.
If, after appeal, you are still unhappy with WFD’s decision, or feel that WFD is being in any way obstructive, you may contact the Information Commissioner with your concerns.