Freedom of information

Commitment

The Met Office is committed to openness and transparency in the conduct of its operations and to the sharing of information.

The Met Office fully supports the aims and objectives of Freedom of Information and is committed to making information available wherever feasible.

The Met Office, as part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, will:

  • Make information routinely available through its Products and Services, Disclosure log and Publication scheme.
  • Help individuals to exercise their rights of access to their personal data: as set out in the  Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Deal with requests for information in a timely manner: the Met Office will treat all requests fairly and without prejudice taking into account the public interest in making accurate and timely information available wherever possible
  • Give clear explanations of decisions if information cannot be published or released.
  • Support the right to appeal: if dissatisfied with the response to a request, applicants have the right to appeal under the Met Office's FOI Complaints Process.

Scope

This statement applies to all information held in Met Office, i.e. all the information created, received and maintained by staff of the Met Office in the course of their work.

Information charter

Our Information Charter explains our commitments on handling personal data.

Frequently asked questions

How do I access information that is not available through Met Office Products and Services?

Please follow the advice below to ensure your request for information is dealt with as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Before you ask for information

To speed up your enquiry, please check if the information you're looking for is already available on our website:

  • Look at the information released in our Disclosure log
  • Check our Publication scheme to see what types of information we make available and whether you have to pay for it [link to new PS page]
  • Search the Met Office website

How do I ask for information?

If you can't find the information you require, please submit an FOI request. To help us deal with your request, please tell us clearly what information you would like to request and include your name and either a postal or email address.

Is there a time limit for the Met Office to reply to my request?

Under the FOIA/EIR, we must reply to your request for information within 20 working days.

Will the Met Office always provide me with the information I request?

Some information may be exempt from disclosure under the FOIA/EIR. If we refuse to give you information then we must explain why. For more information on your rights, please visit the Information Commissioner's Office.

Will I be charged for the information?

Under FOI/EIR, in most cases the information will be provided free, but costs may be charged in certain circumstances. For example, information relating to Met Office commercial products and services may be chargeable.

Complaints

If, for any reason, you are unhappy with our response to a request made to us under the FOIA/EIR, you have the right to appeal our decision and request an internal review.

We will undertake an internal review of the treatment of the request including procedural compliance and reasons for withholding information (if applicable). You may raise a complaint where you believe we have:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days);
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information;
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested;
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request;
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception; or
  • For any other reason.

The Met Office will inform you of the outcome of the internal review within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner's guidance. The Met Office may:

  • uphold the original decision;
  • provide additional explanation of the exemption/exception applied; or
  • release further information

if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeals should be addressed to the person who responded to your request initially.

Review by the Information Commissioner

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, or the handling of the internal review conducted by the Met Office, you may seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. Requests for review by the Information Commissioner should be made in writing within 40 days of our internal review response, to:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
WILMSLOW
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 08456 306060

Fax: 01625 545510

For further information, find out more about complaints at the ICO.

Last updated: 15 January 2013