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The right to have access to your information
The Freedom of Information Act is very new, and current cases are identifying its meaning. Basically, this Act gives you the right to ask for information from public bodies. You have the right to be told if that body has the information you want and to have access to it. You don’t have to say why you want it, and you’re not restricted on what you can do with it once you have it.
For example, you may want information from your child’s school about the local property that is being sold. You should put your request in writing or e-mail. If there are good reasons for keeping the information confidential, you may be refused. You may be refused information if it would reveal someone else’s personal details. If you are refused, you can ask for an internal review. If you’re still refused, you can ask the Information Commissioner to review the decision. For more information on the Act, go to the Information Commissioner’s Web site at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk. The Act doesn’t cover private bodies, such as individuals and private businesses.