Freedom of information working assumptions
The following 'working assumptions' are intended to assist central government officials in considering how to handle requests for certain types of information.
Requests for information have to be considered on a case-by-case basis, and so the working assumptions will not be appropriate to all situations. However, they are designed to highlight the key factors in handling requests for particular types of information and to give direction on the most appropriate course.
You should seek further advice from your department's specialist freedom of information practitioners if you do not intend to handle a request in accordance with a working assumption. You should also be aware that all unusual or particularly complex requests will need further consideration beyond the usual working assumption.
This guidance summarises the government's view and will be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect legal and policy developments.
Cabinet and Cabinet Committee information
Any papers prepared for, or relating to, Cabinet or Cabinet Committees.
Advice to ministers on a question of policy.
The answer and background briefing for written and oral parliamentary questions.
Press releases and communications advice
Press releases, lines to take and associated communications advice, including press handling strategies.
Requests for legal advice, whether legal advice was sought and requests for Law Officers' advice.
Confidential information obtained from a foreign state or international organisation
Information (in any form) obtained, in confidence, from another state (i.e. country) or international organisation.
Information about public appointments or senior civil service appointments, including information about candidates or possible candidates, and details of the appointment or recruitment exercise.
Information that relates to planning cases.
Ministerial expenses incurred in the course of official government business, including the cost of travel, government cars, entertainment (for instance, hosting dinners) and mobile phone bills, and so on.
How requests for certain kinds of information should be treated within the different phases of procurement processes.
Major acquisition programmes and procurement projects in civil central government.