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The Freedom of Information Act 2000 specifically exempt certain types of information (as taken from the HMSO website) that is, or may prejudice, the following:

  • Information accessible to applicant by other means (section 21)
  • Information intended for future publication (s22)
  • Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with security matters (s23)
  • National security (s24)
  • Certificates under exemption 3 and 4 above (s25)
  • Defence (s26)
  • International relations (s27)
  • Relations within the United Kingdom (s28)
  • The economy (s30)
  • Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities (s30)
  • Law enforcement (s31)
  • Court records (s32)
  • Audit functions (s33)
  • Parliamentary privilege (s34)
  • Formulation of government policy (s35)
  • Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs (s36)
  • Communications with Her Majesty and honours (s37)
  • Health and safety (s38)
  • Environmental information (s39)
  • Personal information (s40) - see the Data Protection Act 1998
  • Information provided in confidence (s41)
  • Legal professional privilege (s42)
  • Commercial interests (s43)


According to section 44 of the Act:

"Information is exempt information if its disclosure (otherwise under this Act) by the public authority holding it:

  1. is prohibited by or under any enactments,
  2. is incompatible with any Community obligation, or
  3. would constitute or be punishable as a contempt of court"