Freedom of Information and Data Protection Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 2000 and the Data protection Act (DPA) 1998, give you the right to access certain information held by public authorities.

This page provides guidance on:

  • How you can make a FOI application to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG);
  • The application process;
  • How the OPG will respond to an application; and
  • The types of information the OPG holds.

Information held by the OPG

The information we hold falls broadly into the following areas:

  • Corporate Policy and Strategy
  • Case Information
  • Publications  

If the information you are searching for does not appear to fall within these areas please look at our Publication Scheme. Alternatively, you may find it of use to search the link to external website A to Z of Central Government, which is a directory that describes what government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies do.

OPG publication scheme

The OPG publication scheme is a list of the information that the OPG publishes, or intend to publish. The list:

  • Specifies the classes of information it publishes, or intends to publish;
  • Gives a description of the type of information the class contains;
  • States what format you can obtain the information in, for example, OPG website, hard copy from The Stationery Office and if there is cost involved in accessing this information  

The OPG Publication Scheme is currently available upon request, though we hope in the future to publish it to our website. If you would like to view a copy please contact us in writing or via email.


Information that is supplied under FOI does not give the person, or organisation, receiving the information the automatic right to re-use the documents in a way that would infringe copyright. Please check the link to external website OPSI website before using any information supplied.

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Freedom of Information Request

Before applying

We try to make as much information as we can available to you. Before making a request please:

  • Search the OPG website
  • Check the OPG publication scheme

If you are unable to find the information that you are looking for, or you require information available on our website in a different format then please contact us.

Making a request

There are no restrictions on who can make an FOI request but it must be made in writing and sent by either email, post or fax. To help us deal with your request quickly, please be as specific as you can about the information that you want.

Please include in your request:

  • Your name;
  • A contact address; and
  • A description of the information that you would like.

It would be helpful if you could also include:

  • The format in which you would like the information. We will try to accommodate any such request but this may not always be possible;
  • How you would like to be given the information you requested; and
  • How you would like to be contacted if we require further information from you to complete your request.

You do not need to mention the Freedom of Information Act within your request but you may if you prefer. Please contact us with your request in writing or via email.

To assist you in making a Freedom of Information request we provide a Link to word document FOI template (DOC 0.02MB) that you may wish to use. We also provide an example of a Link to word document completed FOI template (DOC 0.02MB) to demonstrate of the types of information that we require.

How we will deal with your request

  • Time
    Once we have received your request we then have 20 working days in which to respond. If we are unable to respond to you within this time we will notify you of this. We will explain why we need additional time, and give a date by which you will receive an answer.
  • Transferral
    If it is necessary for us to transfer your request to another a body in order for the request to be completed, we will make every effort to obtain your permission to do so.
  • Cost incurred in a FOI request
    If a cost will be incurred in producing your request we will notify you of the amount and give a break down of how that amount was arrived at. You will then have 4 weeks in which to make the payment. During this time the amount of time we have to provide a response will stop until payment has been received. If you are unable to make the payment, for whatever reason, we will inform you of the information you are able to access for free.
  • Our written reply will:
    • Confirm or deny whether or not we hold the information you have requested;
    • Provide you with a copy of the information, or, a summary of it; and
    • Explain any technical language.
  • If we think that the information you requested falls under an FOI exemption we will:
    • Tell you the exemption(s) that we are not releasing the information under (in most cases); and
    • Show that we have considered factors of Public interest in making that decision if the exemption is not absolute.

How to complain or appeal

If you do not feel you were offered sufficient advice or assistance in making your request, you can make a complaint to us. This complaint will be dealt with according to the OPG complaints procedure.

If you would like to make an appeal about the refusal to provide you with information that you feel you are entitled to, you can appeal to the link to external website Information Commissioner.

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Data protection request

While the FOI gives you the right to request information held by a public body, the Data Protection Act gives you the right:

  • To request information about yourself (such a request is called a Subject Access request);
  • To request information about a person for whom you act under a registered Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney (A Deputy may also apply where the Court of Protection has authorised the Deputy to make a subject access request); and
  • Request that we update the details we have about you.

Requesting we update your details

If the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate you can request that it is updated. Please send a written request by fax, letter or email stating:

  • Your name;
  • Details about the incorrect information; and
  • How this information should be amended.

Please contact us with your request. We will acknowledge your request and notify you once these changes have been made. To help you make a request for us to update your details we provide a Link to word document Data Protection personal details template letter (DOC 0.02MB) for you to use.

Making a subject access request

A subject access request must be made in writing and sent by either email, post or fax. A template for data protection request can be obtained from the link to external website Information Commissioners website or you can use our Link to word document Data Protection Information request template (DOC 0.02). Please contact us with your request in writing or via email.

How we will deal with your request

Once we have received your subject access request, we have 40 days in which to respond.

  • In our reply you are entitled to a description of:
    • The personal data about you;
    • The purpose for which the information is being used, or will be used; and
    • Whom the information is held by, or may be passed to.
  • You are also entitled have a copy of the following with any technical terms explained to you:
    • The information about you; and
    • Information available to us about where that information came from.
    • If a third person is mentioned within the information you have requested it may be necessary for us to edit what we return to you.
  • The Cost of a DPA request
    • The cost for a DPA request is £10. A request will not be dealt with until the fee has been received.

How to make a Complaint

If you feel that we have not managed your data according to the principles of the DPA, or prevented you from accessing information about yourself, you can make a link to external website complaint to the Information Commissioner.

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Useful Web Sites

link to external website The Information Commissioner (ICO)

link to external website Ministry of Justice

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