As Manx residents, we are entitled to request information from various Government (and a few non-Government) agencies through the Freedom of Information system. This is an important way to promote transparency and accountability in public life.
I thought it might be helpful to share an example template for submitting a Freedom of Information request to the Isle of Man Government. This was based upon a version that I found somewhere online for the UK, but I adapted it to the Isle of Man.
None of this is legal advice, and further information is available from the Isle of Man FoI website here. It’s worth highlighting here that I’m no lawyer, just a random guy on the internet. You are welcome to use the standard template below as you see fit, but I make no representation that it is any good (indeed, I’d welcome any advice on how to improve it!)
Where to submit your Freedom of Information Request
You can use it to submit a Freedom of Information request here:
The draft template
Dear INSERT AGENCY HERE,
I am writing to make a freedom of information request for all the information to which I am entitled under the relevant Freedom of Information provisions. I am an Isle of Man resident.
Please send me:
1) INSERT DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC DOCUMENTATION YOU WANT HERE
I believe that this is likely to be included with the Freedom of Information definition of “all information held by authorities listed in Schedule 1 of the Act and which was created on or after 11 October 2011.”
I would like the above information to be provided to me as electronic copies by email to me. If the files are too large to transfer by email, I am happy to attend your offices with a USB stick. If you prefer alternative arrangements, please contact me to discuss.
If this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I understand that Manx law requires you to advise and assist requesters.
If any of this information is already is already publicly available, please advise and assist me to locate the information I am seeking, with page references and URLs if necessary.
If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that information should generally not be treated as confidential if such an agreement has not been signed.
>I understand that you are required to respond to my request within the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.
I look forward to hearing from you.
INSERT YOUR NAME HERE