Home Office Garter Crest

Open Government

The Home Office and its Agencies is committed to the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information to promote informed policy making and debate, to provide timely and accessible information to explain the Departmentís policies, actions and decisions, and to respond to reasonable requests for information. The Home Office Freedom of Information unit has policy responsibility for the Code of Practice.  For the text of an explanatory leaflet on the Code, click here.
Requests For Information
The Home Office publishes a wide range of information. You may first wish to check with the Home Office Information and Library Service to find out if the information you require has already been published, or if there are plans to do so. Information and Library Services can also give advice on where to seek further information. The telephone number is:

0171 273 3072

Our target for meeting requests for information under the Code of Practice is 20 working days. If it is likely to take longer we will let you know.
Limits Of Disclosure
Confidentiality is sometimes necessary to ensure the effectiveness of Government decision making and to protect the privacy and security of individuals. For these reasons, some categories of Home Office work, for example, security, legal proceedings, immigration cases and some personal information are not covered by the commitment to provide information. Nevertheless our aim is that information should be made available unless it is clearly not in the public interest to do so and all cases are therefore considered on their merits.
If you are not satisfied with the response to your request you can seek an independent review from:

stating when and to whom the original request for information was made. All complaints will be acknowledged on receipt.

Record Management Services will give a substantive response to a complaint within 20 working days. If detailed investigations are needed which take longer than this complainants will be kept informed of progress at regular intervals.

If you are still not satisfied with the response then you can ask a Member of Parliament to seek a review by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.
A charge may be made for costs of postage, photocopying and such items as video, tape, disk and computer runs.

A fee may be charged for providing information where the request involves significant work. In such cases the work will be charged for on the basis of an hourly rate to cover costs.

There are special arrangements for requests from the media.
Contact Points For Provision Of Information Under The Code Of Practice
Information and Library Services

Public records Research and statistics Prison Service Passports Immigration and nationality enquiries Monitoring and complaints A leaflet giving details of how the Home Office and its Agencies is implementing the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information is explained in our leaflet Open Government - A Brief Guide available in English and in Welsh from the Home Office Information and Library Services.

1997 Monitoring Report

Click here to link to information about procedures in other parts of the Home Office

General information about complaints and suggestions

UK Passport Agency

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Prison Service

Fire Service College

Police, Fire and Probation Services

Open Goverment - Complaints and suggestions 
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© Crown Copyright 1997

Last updated 23rd July 1998