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Letter Requesting Information from a Public Authority Fill out the template

Letter Requesting Information from a Public Authority

Last revision
Last revision 28/06/2023
Formats Word and PDF
Size 1 page
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Last revisionLast revision: 28/06/2023

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 1 page

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Letter Requesting Information from a Public Authority

This document is a formal written letter sent to a UK public authority requesting information. This document can be used by an individual to prompt the public authority to provide information that is of particular importance to the individual. Examples of public authorities that this letter can be sent tp include: City Councils, the NHS and the Police. In line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the letter provides a statutory deadline of 20 working days within which the public authority is expected to respond to the letter.

This letter is not to be used where the information being requested is personal information or personal data. Rather, this letter is relevant for requesting general information that only a public authority will be privy to, for example, asking about waste collection in a residential area, asking about street lights and amenities in an area etc. For letters relating to personal information or personal data the following templates will be more appropriate:

The letter is applicable in where the public authority being addressed is in the United Kingdom.

It should be noted that under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the following types of information cannot be requested:

  • Information that that can be gotten through some other means (for example, by paying for the information);
  • Information that is due to be published in future (for example, election results);
  • Security information held by the Security Service, Secret Intelligence, Special Forces and the like;
  • National Security Information;
  • Internation Relations Information;
  • Information about Government Policy; and
  • Environment Information etc.

For the exhaustive list of exempt information, please refer to Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This template has been drafted in a clear, concise and courteous manner to ensure that it is well received by the public authority to which it is addressed.

How to use this document

The sender of this letter should accurately input their name and contact details (including email and telephone if applicable).

The letter should clearly state:

  • the reason for the information request;
  • what information is being requested; and
  • why the information is needed.

In stating these, as much detail as possible should be provided so as to make sure that the public authority being addressed understands what the sender requires and can adequately answer their enquiry.

Additionally, the letter should be addressed to the appropriate person, if such person is known. Similarly, if there is a specific department within the public authority that deals with this request, the letter should be addressed to that department. This is to ensure that the letter gets to the best place where it can be correctly attended to.

Applicable Law

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Data Protection Act 2018

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