What the Freedom of Information Act does

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to information held by public authorities (and those providing services for them), sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities

The House of Lords is a public authority under the Act. Other public authorities include the House of Commons, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the National Assembly for Wales, Government Departments, local authorities, NHS bodies, schools, colleges and universities and the Police. Members of the House of Lords are not "public authorities" for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act.

The Act places a duty on public authorities to adopt and maintain publication schemes. Such schemes must set out the types of information the authority publishes, the form in which the information is published and details of any charges. Schemes must be approved by the Information Commissioner who is responsible for enforcing the Act.

Further information about the Freedom of Information Act, including the role of the Information Commissioner.

Return to Freedom of Information in the House of Lords page