Alternatives to FOI

Many organisations already publish a lot of information. This may be in the form of annual, quarterly or monthly reports. There are also reports on specific issues. Many organisations also publish information on websites. Published information is not subject to the Information Act 2002.

Organisations may also have in place alternative procedures for accessing information. These may be set out in Acts or Regulations or in administrative access schemes set up by the organisation. They may or may not involve a charge.

There are also ways that information can be obtained as part of a court or tribunal process.

Sometimes seeking access through an alternative means can get you the information you want more quickly or more cheaply than by making an FOI access application.

Before making an FOI application, you may wish to contact the organisation you think holds the information, to see what is already available, and whether there is a better way of accessing it. You may want to try other means of access even if you have made an FOI access application.

Over time, the Office of the Information Commissioner will develop a list of alternative access resources and schemes, to assist people looking for information. This will not be a comprehensive list. Contributions and corrections to the list are welcomed.