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Existing Access to Government Information

Telephone

If you have a general query, members of staff may be able to answer immediately.  Further information and contact details are available within our Government pages

Website

All Government Departments and many other areas of Government, have their own websites and you may find the information you are seeking has already been published on these sites. In addition, an increasing number of datasets are being published in the Open Data section.

Code of Practice on Access to Government Information 2016

Anyone can request information from Government currently under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information 2016 ('Access Code'). 

The Access Code outlines the information that Government is committed to release, which can be summarised into five areas as follows:

  1. Facts and analysis of facts relevant to major policy proposals;
  2. Explanatory material on the Government's dealings with the public (for example, rules and procedures);
  3. Reasons for administrative decisions to those affected;
  4. Full information on how public services are run (for example, costs and targets); and
  5. Details relating to policies, actions and decisions.

The Access Code supports the policy that some information must be kept confidential and therefore a list of exemptions is included. Examples of exempt information are national security and defence. 

You can make an Access Code request in writing to Government.

Public Record Office

The Public Record Office – formally established under the Public Records Act 1999 - has been operational since the 1990s. We act as the National Archive for Isle of Man Public Bodies. To this end, we preserve the historically and culturally significant records of Isle of Man Public Bodies dating from 1703 onwards. Our collections – which document many aspects of Island life – include the records of:

  • Tynwald
  • Boards of Tynwald
  • Central Government departments
  • Local Authorities
  • Courts

Further information on our catalogued collections as well as our public service information is accessible via our website www.gov.im/pro

Personal Information

Under the GDPR and LED Implementing Regulations 2018, individuals have a right of access to their own personal data and to check the accuracy of that data; this is known as "subject access".

A subject access request should be made in writing to the area of Government that holds your personal data. Contact details are available within our Government pages.

You will not be charged a fee for making a request or for providing you with a copy of the personal data sought by your request. 

However, a charge can be levied if you request further copies, but this must be based on administrative costs.

  • If your request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is a repeat request for the same information, the organisation may charge a fee if it decides to act on your request

Subject access requests must be responded to promptly and in any event within a maximum of one calendar month.

The Information Commissioner is the independent authority responsible for upholding the public's information rights and promoting and enforcing compliance with the Island's information rights legislation. Further information can be found on the Information Commissioner's website.

You have the right to request the Information Commissioner to undertake an assessment as to whether the processing of your personal data has been carried out in accordance with the provisions of the GDPR and LED Implementing Regulations 2018.

Freedom of Information Act 2015

With effect from 1 February 2016 the Freedom of Information Act 2015 ('FOIA 2015') became operational for all Government Departments, Isle of Man Constabulary and the Clerk of Tynwald.

The purpose of the FOIA 2015 is to enable persons who are resident in the Island to obtain access to information in accordance with the principles that:

  1. the information should be available to the public to promote the public interest, and
  2. exceptions to the right of access are necessary to maintain a balance with rights to privacy, effective government, and value for the taxpayer.

In order to request information under the FOIA 2015, you must complete a Freedom of Information request form which will be available online and in paper form from 1 February 2016. We also have a useful guide to show you how to make a Freedom of Information request.

The Information Commissioner's functions in respect of the FOIA 2015 commenced on 1 February 2016.

Open Government Licence

Information that is protected by copyright or be database right (for example, literary and artistic works, content, data and source code) may be offered for use under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

Further information

Further advice on seeking information in any of these ways can be obtained by contacting General Enquiries on +44 1624 685685, completing the contact us form above or emailing: enquiries@gov.im.

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