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About the act

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 received Royal Assent on 30 November 2000. The Act was fully implemented on 1 January 2005, and supersedes the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information 1997 (the Code of Practice). 

The Act requires all public authorities to be open with the information that they collect and hold. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. It sets out exemptions from that right and places various obligations upon the authority.

Scope of the Act

The Act applies to all public authorities, of which Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one. Schedule 1 to the Act gives more details but the term 'public authorities' is defined very widely and it has been estimated that some 75,000 bodies are involved.


The Act came into force in two stages:
1. October 2003: The Trust adopted and now maintains a Publication Scheme.
2. From January 2005 any person who makes a request to the Trust for information must be informed whether the Trust has that information and (subject to exemptions) supplied with that information.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not change the right to protection of personal confidentiality (for example, patient records) in accordance with Article 8 of the Human Rights convention, the Data Protection Act 1998 and common law.

Publication scheme

In order to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 public sector organisations such as ours have to routinely publish information whenever possible.   Please see our heading 'Publication Scheme' for more information.

Right to information

The individual right of access applies to all types of recorded information held by public authorities regardless of the date of the information. The Act does, however, set out some exemptions to this right. It also places a number of obligations on public authorities about the way in which they provide information. Subject to the exemptions, anyone making a request must be informed whether the public authority holds the information and, if so, be supplied with it - generally within 20 working days. There is also a duty to provide advice or assistance to anyone seeking information (for example in order to explain what is readily available or to clarify what is wanted).


There is no obligation for a public authority to provide information if the estimated cost of doing so would exceed an 'appropriate limit'.  In general, the Trust does not intend to charge for the information included in its Publication Scheme that is directly accessible through its website. Please see our section 'Charges' for more information.

Right to appeal

In any case where a request for information under the individual right of access is denied, it may be possible to appeal against the decision. In the first instance any such appeals must be referred for in-house review by the Trust, but there will also be a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner (see below).

Information commissioner

Responsibility for overseeing the operation of the Act rests with the Information Commissioner, who is an independent public official responsible directly to Parliament.  As well as approving Publication Schemes and promoting compliance with the Act, the Commissioner has powers of enforcement.