The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) establishes a general right of access to information held by Public Authorities, subject to certain exemptions. It places a duty on each Public Authority to maintain a Publication Scheme approved by the Information Commissioner that describes the information the Authority intends to publish and whether the information will be made available free of charge or on payment.
Customer data and holdings information are updated once the Annual Reports and Accounts for the previous year have been audited and published. Data published across our channels reflects information that is correct as of 1 April 2017.
Read more about Freedom of Information on the Information Commissioner's Office website.
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.
How we’ll handle your request
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.
View information that NS&I should publish on the Information Commissioner's Office website.
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.
- Ministry of Justice
- The Information Commissioners Office
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs