Freedom of information requests and Publication scheme

Last updated: 14 September 2023

How to make a Freedom of Information request

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) provide the general right of access to information held by public authorities.

The Freedom of Information Act requires us to inform members of the public how they can find information that is routinely made available. This publication scheme specifies the categories of information we routinely publish. If the information you want is not routinely available, you can make a request for it under the Act.

To make a valid request, you must provide:

  • Your name
  • An address to receive the information (this can be an email address)
  • A clear description of the information you want. Be as specific as possible about the information you want rather than asking general questions. Try to include details such as dates and names whenever you can.

Useful tips to help you to make a valid FOI request: Advice from the Information Commissioner's Office

Once the Advisory Committee for Social Sciences (ACSS) receives your request for information, we will acknowledge your request and provide a full response within 20 working days of receiving the request. If this is not possible for reasons permitted under the FOI Act, we will let you know. Also, some sensitive information isn't available to the public.  If this is the case, we will tell you why we can't provide some or all of the information you requested.

We make a large amount of our information available on our website and in our publication scheme. If you cannot find details of the information you are looking for on our website and want to make a request for information, you can contact the ACSS at:

Please note that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) covers the operational costs of the ACSS and provides secretariat support. The ACSS does not hold any assets itself. It does not have an independent budget, it has no staff and it has no contracts for goods and services. Any requests for information of this sort should be directed to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).