HM Treasury

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Freedom of Information Act 2000

Freedom of Information logo The Freedom of Information Act 2000 became law on 30 November 2000. The Act does two main things:

  1. it gives applicants a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, although there are some procedural and substantive limitations
  2. it imposes an obligation on public authorities, including the Treasury, to produce and maintain a Publication Scheme approved by the independent Information Commissioner (see below).

How to apply for information

The Treasury publishes a lot of information on the decisions it makes and the background to those decisions. It is possible that the information you seek may already be published and, before making a request, you should check whether we already publish the information you want on this website.

If you cannot find what you want, you can submit a request by letter or e-mail to:

Correspondence & Enquiry Unit 2/W1, Freedom of Information Section, HM Treasury 1 Horse Guards Road London SW1A 2HQ

e-mail public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk

In making a request you need to:

It is also helpful if you:

The Information Commissioner's Office is the UK's independent authority set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information. His responsibilities include guidance to the public and there is a link to the ICO site at the bottom of this page. The ICO has published a Charter for Responsible Requesters which we reproduce below.

How we will handle requests

We will provide advice and assistance wherever that would be helpful.

We have a statutory obligation to reply within 20 working days.

We will tell you whether or not we hold the information requested.

We will provide the information requested unless:

If the last judgement is complex, the Act provides for extra time to be taken and we would notify you if that is needed.

We will keep you notified of progress where appropriate, and justify any refusal to you.

Requests for information related to environmental matters is likely to be dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations; these provide very similar rights.

Requests for your own personal data will be dealt with as ‘subject access requests’ under the Data Protection Act.

Complaints

If you are dissatisfied with the handling or the outcome of your request, you should write within two months to the Correspondence & Enquiry Unit as above.

We will ensure a fresh look at the entire case and write to you to explain the outcome. We will also tell you how to take your concerns to the Information Commissioner, if you remain dissatisfied.

Publication Scheme

Under section 19 of the Act all public authorities including government departments such as the Treasury are required to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme approved by the Information Commissioner.

Treasury produced a bespoke Publication Scheme in 2002. In 2008 the Information Commissioner produced a new model publication scheme for Departments and from 1 January 2009 this replaces our prior version. You can read more about the Information Commissioner’s intentions on his website and we have provided a link below.

The Information Commissioner has recognised that, since 2002, structured websites have come to perform much of the function that the Publication Scheme was originally intended to fulfil. For Treasury, the public website is the source of all information covered by the model publication scheme.

The model publication scheme defines Classes of Information that Authorities should publish, as follows:

Our Annual Report is the principle source for strategic information under the first four classes.

Further information is contained in the ‘About us’ section of the website.

Budget and Pre-Budget publications cover key economic analysis and initiatives.

The ‘consultation and legislation’ section of the website provide further detail.

We do not charge for any information on the website, although (where indicated) there is the option to purchase publications in hard copy from TSO (formerly HMSO).

Copyright notice

Most information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act continues to be protected by copyright.  You are free to use these documents for your information, including for any non-commercial research you may be doing.  Documents can also be used for the purposes of news reporting.  Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.  Government officials will have produced most documents published by the Treasury and so the information will be Crown Copyright.  Crown Copyright is managed by HMSO and you can find out details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright on the HMSO website.  

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