The Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the FoIA") passed on 30th November 2000, came into force on 1st January 2005 and establishes a general right of access to information held by public authorities (subject to certain exemptions).
BT is not a public authority under the terms of the Act. However, because BT's pre-plc (i.e. pre-1984) records are subject to the Public Records Acts, it is BT’s policy to apply the provisions of the FoIA relating to public records as if it had been designated as a public authority for this purpose.
One of the aims of the Freedom of Information Act is to encourage public authorities to be clear and proactive about the information they make available. Section 19 of the Act requires all such authorities to have a Publication Scheme that has been approved by the Information Commissioner. Publication Schemes explain what information is made available, when and how you can see it, and whether the information is available free or whether there is a charge. All public authorities must release the information promised in their schemes.
Our full publication scheme is available to download
as a PDF file and contains information on using the archives and legislation, standards and guidance.