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Freedom of Information Act

Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

Initial position, and rationale for NCA exemption

The Freedom of Information Act (and its counterpart the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act) came into affect on 1 January 2005. This is part of the Open Government initiative where public authorities aim to make as much information as possible available to the general public.

However, NCA is not a public authority as defined in Schedule 1 of this Act; therefore there are no new legal obligations on NCA to supply information under FOIA.

It is important not to compromise the current supplies of information to NCA from various sources (in the UK and abroad) from which criminal intelligence is distilled, which might dry up if NCA were other than exempt from FOIA at this stage. The sensitivities surrounding the information NCA receives and holds on behalf of a wide range of partners with respect to serious organised crime are similar to those surrounding national security information, and readers will note that the UK's national security and intelligence agencies have their own FOIA exemption.

For reasons such as those outlined above, NCA is therefore one of the few organisations completely exempt from FOIA. However in the spirit of the Act, NCA is aiming to make as much of its non-operational information available on the NCA website as it properly can, following examples of other FOIA publication schemes and including documents such as the Annual Reports, etc.

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