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Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act 2002 places responsibilities on public bodies to be open and visible about their work. There are certain instances where exemptions can be made, such as national security.

The earliest freedom of information act is considered to be Sweden's Freedom of the Press Act dated 1766.

Typically, the Freedom of Information act defines the way in which government information can be made available to the public. A related concept is open meetings legislation, which allows access to government meetings, not just to the records of them. In many countries, privacy or data protection laws may be part of the freedom of information legislation; the concepts are often closely tied together in political discourse.

The backbone of the UK Freedom of Information act is that the burden of proof is with the government body and not whoever wants access to the information.

The UK freedom of information legislation is called the Freedom of Information Act 2000, although there is separate but similar legislation in Scotland, which is called the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Both of these acts became law in January 1st 2005.

Next: The "Two" Acts