Freedom of Information (FOI)
Right to Information
The Freedom of Information Act does two main things:
- It gives applicants a general right of access to recorded
information held by public authorities - with some
procedural and substantive limitations
- It imposes an obligation on public authorities, including the
National Audit Office, to maintain a Publication Scheme approved by
the Information Commissioner
How to find or apply for information
The NAO Publication Scheme lists the range of
information we proactively make available without the need
for specific FOI requests. It also gives
details of how the information can be obtained and any
We recommend you start your information search by looking at the
Charges for Publication Scheme items
Generally, information published on our website is available
free of charge - although the user will have to meet any charges by
their Internet Service Provider, personal printing costs etc.
Requests for multiple copies or for archived copies of documents
which are no longer available on the website, may incurr a
charge for the cost of retrieval, photocopies, postage
If you are likely to be charged, we will let you know the charge
at the time of the request.
Making a request
If you want information which is not available under the
Publication Scheme you may write to the FOI Team and submit a
Your request will be acknowledged and information supplied
within 20 working days where possible - subject to
exemptions which may prevent some information being
In making a request you must
- State your name
- Give an address for correspondence
- Describe as fully as possible the information you are
It would be also be helpful if you were to give a telephone
number in case we need to discuss your request with you.
Contact details for FOI requests
Tel: 020 7798 7264
or write to:
The National Audit Office Library
157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
We do not routinely charge for FOI requests, however there is no
obligation for us to provide information if the estimated cost of
doing so would exceed £450. This is the limit set in secondary
legislation sponsored by the Ministry of Justice.
In cases where the cost limit would be exceeded, we will contact
you to discuss whether you would prefer the scope of your request
to be modified so it would cost less than the limit.
(When calculating whether the limit is exceeded, we will
take account of the costs of determining whether the information is
held, locating and retrieving the information, and extracting the
information from other documents. We do not include the costs
of assessing whether information is exempt under the Act. Staff
costs are calculated at £25 per hour).
Unless otherwise stated:
- The NAO holds the copyright for information contained within
the publication scheme
- all material available via the website may be downloaded,
copied or reproduced free of charge in any format or medium without
requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material
being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory
manner or in a misleading context. Where the material is being
published or issued to others, the sources and copyright status
should be acknowledged
- From time to time NAO publications may contain information
which is subject to Crown copyright, for example where we have
reproduced information produced directly by a Crown body.
Where this is the case we will have included a copyright statement
and users should observe this statement and act accordingly.
Crown Copyright is administered by Office of Public Sector
Information (OPSI) and further details are available on the
Copyright Guidance section of their website.
Also see the OPSI website for details of Click-Use
The NAO does not accept responsibility for material hosted on any
- If you are maintaining or developing a website you do not have
to ask permission to link directly to pages hosted on the NAO
However, you must not link to information on our website in a way
that implies a relationship with, or endorsement by the NAO, or
which misrepresents NAO content as being published by anyone other
Publication Scheme Accountability
The Director of Corporate Affairs is responsible for the
Day to day management of the scheme is the responsibility of
Nora Miller, Freedom of Information Officer.
If your request for information is denied then you may follow a
In the first instance complaints should be sent to the
Director of Corporate
Affairs at the NAO.
If you are not happy with any subsequent response you can write
to the Information Commissioner who has responsibility for
approving Publication Schemes, promoting compliance with the Act
and powers of enforcement.
Contact details for the Information Commissioner are:
Tel: 01625 545 745
Fax: 01625 524 510
If you have any questions or comments about our Publication
Scheme please send them to the FOI Team at the address listed