Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI)
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 became law on 30 November 2000. The Act does two main things:
- it gives applicants a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, although there are some procedural and substantive limitations
- it imposes an obligation on public authorities, including NS&I, to produce and maintain a Publication Scheme approved by the independent Information Commissioner (see below).
How to apply for information
NS&I publishes a lot of information about its products, services and its relationship with HM Treasury. It is possible that the information you seek may already be published and, before making a request, you should check whether we already publish the information you want on this website and the NS&I Annual Report and Accounts.
If you cannot find what you require, you can submit a request to:
Freedom of Information Unit
National Savings and Investments
1 Drummond Gate
In making a request we ask you to:
- put ‘FOI request’ in the subject line
- provide your name and address for replies
- describe as clearly as possible the information you are seeking
The Information Commissioner has published a Charter for Responsible Requesters
How we will handle requests
We will provide advice and assistance wherever that would be helpful. We have a statutory obligation to reply within 20 working days. We will tell you whether or not we hold the information requested.
NS&I may charge a fee for processing a Freedom of Information access request, which will be payable in advance. The fee will be calculated in line with the fees regulations published by the Ministry of Justice. Under the Act, fees may be charged in respect of the time spent efficiently locating or copying records, based on a standard hourly rate. Please see our Schedule Of Charges. No charges will apply in respect of the time spent by NS&I in considering whether information can be released. If a fee is required, the limit of 20 working days will be extended by up to three months until the fee is paid.
We will provide the information requested unless:
- the information is otherwise accessible to you, or
- to extract the information would take more than three and a half working days – the cost limit under section 12 of the Act, or
- the information is covered by another absolute exemption under the Act – disclosure would be against the law, or
- we judge that in all the circumstances it is against the public interest under the Act to disclose it.
If the last judgement is complex, the Act provides for extra time to be taken and we would notify you if that is needed. We will keep you notified of progress where appropriate, and justify any refusal to you.
Requests for information related to environmental matters is likely to be dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations; these provide very similar rights.
Requests for your own personal data will be dealt with as ‘subject access requests’ under the Data Protection Act.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling or the outcome of your request, you should write to us within two months of the date of your response from NS&I at the above address, asking the FOI team to conduct an internal review.
In the event that we receive such a complaint, we will ensure a fresh look at the entire case and write to you to explain the outcome. We will also tell you how to take your concerns to the Information Commissioner, if you remain dissatisfied.
Under section 19 of the Act all public authorities including government departments such as the NS&I are required to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme approved by the Information Commissioner.
NS&I produced a bespoke Publication Scheme in 2005. In 2008 the Information Commissioner produced a new model publication scheme for Departments and from 1 January 2009 this replaces our previous version.
The Information Commissioner has recognised that, since 2002, structured websites have come to perform much of the function that the Publication Scheme was originally intended to fulfil. For NS&I, the public website is the source of the majority of information covered by the model publication scheme.
Where information covered by the model publication scheme is not available on the NS&I website, please make a freedom of information request to NS&I.
The model publication scheme defines Classes of Information that Authorities should publish, as follows:
1. Who we are and what we do.
National Savings and Investments is one of the largest savings organisations in the UK, offering savings and investment products to personal savers and investors. We are also a government department and an Executive Agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The money placed with us by customers is used by HM Treasury to help manage the national debt cost-effectively, contributing towards the government’s financing needs.
When customers invest with us they are lending money to the government, which pays them interest or Premium Bond prizes in return. Our products are backed by HM Treasury.
Our aim is to help reduce the cost to the taxpayer of government borrowing now and in the future. To achieve our single strategic objective is to provide the government with cost-effective retail finance compared to funds raised on the wholesale market.
We are committed to keeping our range of products under review so that we continue to meet the changing needs of our customers. Our range of savings and investments include products that are free of UK Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax for taxpayers.
Further information can be found in the ‘About NS&I‘ section of the main NS&I customer website.
2. What we spend and how we spend it.
3. What our priorities are and how we are doing.
4. How we make decisions.
Our Annual Report and Accounts is the principal source for strategic information under the first four classes. Hard copies of the NS&I Annual Report and Accounts may be purchased from The Stationery Office.
NS&I staff members undertake their duties in line with the requirements of the Civil Service Code and Civil Service Management code, which make clear that civil servants must make sure public money and other resources are used properly and efficiently.
Summary minutes of the NS&I Board, Audit Committee and Appointments and Remuneration Committee are available as hard copies on request to NS&I. No charge will be made.
NS&I operates through a partnership with Atos (formerly Siemens). The National Audit Office’s (NAO’s) report on their review of these arrangements are available from the NAO website.
5. Our policies and procedures.
Internal staff policies and procedures can be found in the ‘Working at NS&I‘ section of the main NS&I customer website. Please also visit our ‘Privacy information‘ and ‘Site conditions and Legal‘ sections of the website for information on NS&I’s Information Charter, as well as the Acts and Regulations that govern NS&I.
6. Lists and Registers.
Information on NS&I Assets and other Board positions held by our Non- Executive Directors is contained within the Annual Report and Accounts.
FOI disclosures related to NS&I Premium Bonds made by NS&I, where the material is new and of wider interest can be found here on the main NS&I customer website.
7. The services we offer.
Please visit the home page of the main NS&I customer website for information on NS&I products and services, including the NS&I Media Centre. Please also visit our current vacancies section on the same website for job opportunities at NS&I.
Most information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act continues to be protected by copyright. You are free to use these documents for your information, including for any non-commercial research you may be doing. Documents can also be used for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Government officials will have produced most documents published by the Treasury and so the information will be Crown Copyright. Crown Copyright is managed under the Open Government Licence and you can find out details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright on The National Archive website.