Section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires the Lord Chancellor to issue a Code of Practice on the management of records. First published in November 2002, the code was revised and re-issued in July 2009.

Read the code.

The code is in two parts:

  • Part I sets out good practice in records management and applies to all public authorities covered by the Act, and also to bodies that are not FOI authorities but are bodies subject to the Public Records Act 1958 or the Public Records Act (Northern Ireland) 1923
  • Part II sets out how public records (records subject to the two Public Records Acts) are to be reviewed and transferred to The National Archives, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland or another place of deposit for public records

The National Archives is working to promote compliance with the Code of Practice on the management of records in all public authorities.

Central government

For central government, we developed a programme to identify the levels of risk faced by departments through failure to comply with the code. Find out more on information management assessment.

Public authorities

We developed an automated support tool to help all public authorities assess their records management against the code.

Implementation guides for records managers

To help public authorities comply with the Code of Practice, we have developed a series of implementation guides.

Other guidance to help implement Freedom of Information

  • Redaction toolkit: guidelines for editing exempt information from paper and electronic documents prior to release
  • Operational selection policies apply the criteria set out in the Acquisition policy to the records of individual departments and agencies. OSP 37 covers the selection of public records generated by processing Freedom of Information Act (FOI) access requests and the selection of the information that has been requested:

OSP37: Freedom of Information Act records (PDF, 0.06Mb)

The Information Commissioner and the Chief Executive of The National Archives have signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out how they will work together on promoting and monitoring the code.

Memorandum of Understanding between the Information Commissioner and the Chief Executive of The National Archives (PDF, 0.38Mb)

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