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Freedom of Information and Accessing Information

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OFMDFM seeks to be open and accountable and believes that public access to our information improves understanding of our business.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act
The objective of the FOI Act is to open up public authorities and other organisations, which carry out public functions.
The Act came into full effect on 01 January 2005.
Firstly the FOI Act empowers people, giving everyone a general right of access to the information they want to see, that is held by public authorities in the UK, subject to certain exemptions.
Secondly it places a statutory duty on bodies covered by the act to make certain information publicly available as a matter of course. All public authorities must adopt a Publication Scheme for the publication of information and make it easily accessible to the public.
The scheme, which must be approved by an independent Information Commissioner, must specify the classes of information the authority publishes, or intends to publish, the manner of publication and whether the information is available to the public free of charge or on payment of a fee.
Our Publication Scheme was updated in early 2009 in line with the Information Commissioner's Office Publication Scheme Development and Maintenance Initiative.  
If the information you require is not listed in our Publication Scheme you may make a request to us for the information.  
Further access to information
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provides access to environmental information held by public authorities in the UK.  In general the nature of business conducted by OFMDFM does not lead to requests for information under this access legislation.
Individuals also have the right to access information about themselves under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DP).  This is known as “subject access right” which means you can make a subject access request to OFMDFM.  
If the information you require relates to the work of an OFMDFM Sponsored Body, or another Northern Ireland Government Department, you should correspond directly with them.
Policies and procedures in relation to FOI, DP and Information Management within OFMDFM are currently under review.
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Content last updated November 2009.