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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information [FOI] Act 2000 gives everyone the right to obtain information from public organisations including hospitals, health centres and health agencies. This means that you can access information about how the Business Services Organisation [BSO] works, how we spend public money, and how and why we make decisions.

The FOI Act gives you the right to access almost all the information the BSO holds, but there is some information which cannot be made public. Information given in confidence, information relating to national security or law enforcement, and personal details about others cannot be provided; these are known as ‘exemptions’.

You can obtain your own personal information through the Data Protection Act.

How can I get information about BSO under the FOI Act?

If the information you require is not available from our website, you can make a request in writing, by:

Post:

Corporate Services
Business Services Organisation
2 Franklin Street
Belfast
BT2 8DQ

E-mail:
foi.bso@hscni.net

All requests for copies of information under the FOI Act must be made in writing. It will be helpful if you tell us what information you are requesting, and give us your name, address and contact telephone number.

What happens if the information is not available?

The FOI Act does not require us to provide information that we do not already gather; however, we do have a duty to help you with your request. We will contact you and tell you what information we do hold and whether that may help with your query.

You can also request information under:

  • The Data Protection Act 1998 [DPA], which gives everyone access rights to their own personal information. The DPA covers both private and public organisations.
  • The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 [EIR], which give everyone the right to environmental information held by public organisations.

Is there any cost for getting information?

Information will be provided free of charge up to a value of £450, however, if there are production costs, such as photocopy and laser printing, there will be a nominal charge. These production costs will apply to all requests.

What if I am refused information?

We will tell you what information has been withheld and why. If you are not satisfied with our response, please contact us and tell us why. If we cannot resolve the matter and you remain unhappy you can ask the Northern Ireland Information Commissioner [address below] to decide if your request has been dealt with correctly.

Where can I get more information about FOI Act?

You can get more information about FOI from the Northern Ireland Information Commissioner at –

51 Adelaide Street, Belfast BT2 8FE

E-mail: ni@ico.gsi.gov.uk

www.ico.gov.uk

You can phone and speak to an FOI Officer, who will assist you with your request. Telephone (028) 90 535627.

 

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