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How to Apply

Do I need to use FOI for all government documents?

There are other options to using FOI

Many agencies have policies about the availability of commonly requested information. It is worth contacting the agency concerned beforehand to find out if you can access the information you want without making an FOI application. Agency contact details can be found on the website of the FOI Commissioner.

Documents that you might be able to obtain without an FOI application include those containing:

  • Your own personal information, such as personnel records.
  • Information which is available publicly, such as on a public register.
  • Information which is available for purchase (eg criminal record check).

If you need documents for a court case or some type of litigation, speak to your legal advisor about other processes for accessing those documents.