Freedom of Information

Right to Information

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 does two main things:

  • it gives applicants a general right of access to recorded information by public authorities - with some procedural and substantive limitations; and
  • it imposes an obligation on public authorities, including the Northern Ireland Audit Office, to maintain a publication scheme approved by the Information Commissioner

To find out more about access rights to information, this link will take you to the Information Commissioner's website www.ico.org.uk.

How to find or apply for information

Publication Scheme

The NIAO Publication Scheme lists the range of information we proactively make available without the need for specific FoI requests. It also gives details of how the information can be obtained and any charges.

We recommend you start your information search by looking at the Publication Scheme pages

Making a request

If you want information which is not available under the Publication Scheme you may write to the Information Manager and submit a request. Your request will be acknowledged and information supplied within 20 working days where possible, subject to exemptions which may prevent the information being released.

In making your request you must

  • state your name
  • give an address for correspondence.
  • describe as fully as possible the information you are seeking

Contact details for FoI requests

The Information Manager
Northern Ireland Audit Office
106 University Street
Belfast
BT7 1EU

or e mail:

Cost Limit

We do not routinely charge for FoI requests; however there is no obligation on us to provide information if the estimated cost of doing so would exceed £450. In cases where the cost limit would be exceeded, we will contact you to discuss whether you would prefer the scope of your request to be modified so it would cost less than the limit.

Copyright

Unless otherwise stated:

  • NIAO holds the copyright for information contained within the publication scheme;
  • All material available via the website may be downloaded, copied or reproduced free of charge in any format or medium without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. Where the material is being published or issued to other, the sources and copyright status should be acknowledged;
  • From time to time NIAO publications may contain information which is subject to Crown copyright; for example where we have reproduced information produced directly by a crown body. Where this is the case we will include a copyright statement and users should observe this statement and act accordingly. Crown copyright is administered by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) and further details are available on the OPSI website
  • If you are maintaining or developing a website you do not have to ask permission to link directly to pages hosted on the NIAO website; however, you must not link information on our website that implies a relationship with or any endorsement by NIAO, or which misrepresents NIAO content as being published by anyone other than NIAO.

Publication Scheme Accountability

The Director of Corporate Services is responsible for the scheme. Day to day management of the scheme is the responsibility of the Information Manager.

Complaints

If your request for information is denied, you have the right to request a formal review of this response by NIAO: if you wish to do so, please write to:

The Complaints Co-Ordinator
Northern Ireland Audit Office
106 University Street
Belfast
BT7 1EU

If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the:

The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF.