Publication scheme

We have published the scheme in line with section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The purpose of the Act is to promote greater openness by public authorities (i.e. government and other public sector organisations).

The publication scheme is a guide to key information routinely published by, or made available from, Defra. It focuses on information relating to our key business activities, on the standards and guidance by which we make decisions and accounting for what we do. Much more information about Defra is available via our website or our suite of publications.

The scheme is structured according to broad classes that reflect the range of our work.

These are:

  1. Who we are and what we do
  2. What we spend and how we spend it
  3. What are our priorities and how are we doing
  4. How we make decisions
  5. Our policies and procedures
  6. Lists and registers
  7. The services we offer

Within these classes the information subjects that form our publication scheme are defined.

Defra's Executive Agencies have drawn up separate publication schemes, which can be consulted on their websites at:

How much do publications cost?

Documents on the Defra website can be downloaded free of charge. Documents published in hard copy format may have a cover charge; where this occurs it is indicated in the publication scheme.

How are they published?

We try to make as much of our published information available on our website For those without Internet access, a single print-out, as on the website, can be obtained free of charge from the Defra Library and Translation Service at:

Defra Library and Translation Service
Ergon House, 17 Smith Square, London. SW1P 3JR
Telephone:  020 7238 6575  Email:

Please note that requests for archived copies of documents which are no longer available on the web, may attract a charge for the cost of retrieval, photocopying, postage etc. We will let you know this at the time of your request. Any charge will be payable in advance.


It is important that the scheme meets users' needs. We welcome suggestions for additional classes of information that could be included.

We also welcome suggestions as to how the information products and publications themselves might be improved. Any questions, comments or complaints about this scheme should be sent to:

Kevin Jackson
Head of Defra Library and Translation Service
Ergon House, 17 Smith Square, London. SW1P 3JR

Freedom of Information, Open Government and Individual Rights

Defra is committed to promoting and actively developing a culture of openness, transparency and accountability, embodied in the Access to Information (ATI) legislation.

This refers to the general right of access that the public have to the information held by Defra and other public authorities. Rights of access to environmental information exist under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Requests for other types of information are dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

If the information you want to see is not held within our Publication Scheme, you can contact Defra to request the information and, providing it is not covered by one of the exemptions in the legislation, we will endeavour to provide you with that information in line with our Service Standards.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, individuals may also request a copy of any personal data that Defra holds about them. These requests should be sent in writing to the Data Protection Officer.


Defra is a Crown body and the information it produces is subject to Crown copyright, which is administered by the Office of Public Sector Information. The material listed in this publication scheme is Crown copyright unless stated otherwise.

You may re-use this information (excluding logos) free of charge in any format or medium, for the purposes of research for non-commercial purposes, private study, criticism, review and news reporting. You must re-use it accurately and not in a misleading context.

The material must be acknowledged as Crown copyright and you must give the title of the source information/publication. However, if you wish to re-use all or part of this information for commercial purposes, including publishing, you will need to apply for a licence by contacting

Information Subjects

Each information subject contains the following information:

  • Description - comprises the name of the information subject and a brief description of the nature of the information
  • Availability - indicates where the information can be obtained and contact points, including any information within the class that may not be publicly available. Charges for information will only be shown where these are applicable


We have seven classes of information in our Publication scheme

1. Who we are and what we do
Information about Defra's organisation, structure, locations and contacts

2. What we spend & how we spend it
Financial information, covering projected and actual income and expenditure, accounts, procurement, contracts and financial audit

3. What are our priorities and how we are doing
Defra's strategies and plans, performance indicators and the results of audits, inspections and reviews

4. How we make decisions
Information about Defra's decision making processes and records of decisions made

5. Our policies and procedures
Current written protocols, policies and procedures for delivering Defra's services and responsibilities

6. Lists and registers
Defra's public registers, asset registers and disclosure logs

7. The services we offer
Information about the services provided to Defra, including leaflets, guidance and newsletters

Page last modified: 1 July 2010
Page published: 29 November 2002