FREEDOM OF INFORMATION INTRODUCTION
The Freedom of Information Act 2018
The Freedom of Information Act 2018 provides public access to information held by public authorities. It is based on the principle that people have a right to know about the activities of these public authorities, unless there is a good reason for them not to. The default position is therefore to only keep information private when there is good reason to.
This is achieved by obliging public authorities to publish certain information about their activities and giving members of the public the right to request information held by them.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2018, the GRA, with powers conferred upon the Information Commissioner, has regulatory responsibilities and provides an advisory service with regard to matters covered by the Act.
The Freedom of Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2005
The Freedom of Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2005 provides public access to environmental information held by public authorities. Environmental information includes, amongst other things, the state of the elements (such as water, soil and land), factors (such as noise, radiation and water) likely to affect those elements and measures and activities affecting or likely to affect those elements and factors. It may also include relevant reports and analyses as well as the state of human health and safety.
The Regulations are derived from European law, namely the European Council Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information and provide regulatory responsibilities to the GRA.