Freedom of information - access to information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) gives individuals the right to access information held by public bodies. Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and government legislation provide more information.

Full details are available in our Access to Information Policy (PDF, 422KB).

How to ask for information

When you make a freedom of information request, please make sure you provide your name or the name of the applicant and contact details. We also need a description of the information required.

When a request for information is received, you are entitled to be informed by us. Whether we hold the information and to receive a response within 20 working days.

There are three ways you can ask for information:

  1. Email:

  2. Write to us: You can make a request by post and send it to: Corporate Information Unit, Legal Services, County Hall, High Street, Newport, IW PO30 1UD.

  3. or you can complete the online FOI form. As part of this process, you will need to log into your Council Account or create a new account to complete the online form.  You will need to provide your postal address.

Will there be a fee?

Whilst we can charge a fee for paper copies of information, we rarely do. Fees can be charged for disbursements only, photocopying (standard rates apply) and postage, for example.

Most FOIs are submitted by email and are dealt with free of charge.

We can refuse to give you the information you request if:

  • the cost of providing the information exceeds £450 (based on 18 hours at a cost of £25 per hour)
  • we do not hold the information you are looking for
  • the information is exempt from disclosure under the Act
  • your request is considered vexatious or repeated.

Guidance can be found on the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO’s) website.

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We are required to issue a response within 20 working days of the date of receipt. Any further information needed from the applicant will pause the request until received. We can extend the timescale when considering an exemption that requires consideration of the public interest test. If this is the case, the applicant will be notified accordingly.


The Act does include some exemptions to protect certain types of information. A full list is provided on the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.

The most common exemptions include:

  • section 21 – information already publicly available
  • section 40 – personal Information
  • section 41 – information provided in confidence
  • section 42 – legally privileged information
  • section 43 – commercial Interests.