FRAB and the Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 became law on 30 November 2000. The Act does two main things:
- It gives applicants a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, although there are some procedural and substantive limitations
- It imposes an obligation on public authorities, to produce and maintain a Publication Scheme approved by the independent Information Commissioner (see below).
The FRAB publishes FRAB papers, minutes of meetings, annual reports and information on the Board on the Treasury website at:
If you cannot find what you are looking for, you can submit a request by letter or e-mail to:
In making a request you need to:
- provide your name and address for replies
- describe as clearly as possible the information you are seeking
It is also helpful if you:
- lable the enquiry as ‘Freedom of Information Request’
- give a telephone number, in case we need to discuss your request with you.
The Information Commissioner's Office is the UK's independent authority set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information. His responsibilities include guidance to the public and there is a link to the ICO site at the bottom of this page. The ICO has published a Charter for Responsible Requesters which we reproduce below.
We will provide advice and assistance wherever that would be helpful.
We have a statutory obligation to reply within 20 working days.
We will tell you whether or not we hold the information requested.
We will provide the information requested unless:
- the information is otherwise accessible to you, or
- to extract the information would take more than three and a half working days – the cost limit under section 12 of the Act - or
- the information is covered by another absolute exemption under the Act – e.g. disclosure would be against the law - or
- we argue that in all the circumstances it is against the public interest to disclose it.
If the last judgement is complex, the Act provides for extra time to be taken and we would notify you if that is needed.
We will keep you notified of progress where appropriate, and justify any refusal to you.
Under section 19 of the Act all public authorities are required to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme approved by the Information Commissioner.
The FRAB Secretariat produced a bespoke Publication Scheme in 2003, which was revised in 2007. In 2008 the Information Commissioner produced a new model publication scheme and from 1 January 2009 this replaces our prior version. You can read more about the Information Commissioner’s intentions on his website and we have provided a link below.
The Information Commissioner has recognised that, since 2002, structured websites have come to perform much of the function that the Publication Scheme was originally intended to fulfil. For the FRAB, the public website is the source of all information covered by the model publication scheme.
The model publication scheme defines Classes of Information that Authorities should publish, as follows:
- Who we are and what we do.
- What we spend and how we spend it.
- What our priorities are and how we are doing.
- How we make decisions.
- Our policies and procedures.
The FRAB pages on the Treasury website provide strategic information about these five classes. FRAB papers and minutes of meetings are placed on the website following the agreement of the final minutes at the following FRAB meeting. (Work in progress, such as drafts will not be made available.)
- Lists and registers. We do not have statutory responsibilities in this area.
- The services we offer. The FRAB is not directly involved in service provision. FOI service is an exception.
We do not charge for any information on the website, although there is the option to purchase the FRAB Report in hard copy from TSO (formerly HMSO).
Most information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act continues to be protected by copyright. You are free to use these documents for your information, including for any non-commercial research you may be doing. Documents can also be used for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Government officials will have produced most documents published by the FRAB and so the information will be Crown Copyright. Crown Copyright is managed by HMSO and you can find out details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright on the HMSO website .
Updated January 2009
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