Freedom of Information policy

Making a request for information

To be valid under the FoIA, requests:

  • Must be in writing;
  • Must clearly describe the information being sought;
  • Can be made by an individual or an organisation;
  • Can be made by letter, or email;
  • Must be legible; and
  • Must contain the name of the applicant and a return address.

To be valid under the FoIA requests do not:

  • Have to be written in a special form;
  • Need to mention the FoIA; or
  • Need to refer to “Freedom of Information”.

When making your request you should include:

  • Your preferred correspondence details e.g. name, email or postal address
  • A clear description of the information you are requesting in as much detail as possible. If we need to clarify your request it may take longer to provide the information to you

We have a duty to provide advice and assistance to applicants under Section 16 of the FoIA so far as it would be reasonable to expect us to do so. We must advise whether we hold the information and must normally supply it within 20 working days. However, if your request is unclear and we need further details to establish if we hold the information, we may ask you for clarification. The time limit will stop and will not restart until we receive the additional detail from you.

If you wish to request information which is not already published on our website through our Publication Scheme, please email This is the quickest and most efficient way for us to receive and process your request. However, you can also write to us at:

18 Smith Square
London SW1P 3HZ

Any information we supply to you under FoIA should be for your personal use. We retain copyright to all information we disclose.

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