I didn't realise you could do an FOI request from outside the UK. Not that I've really got the energy to do it! I guess that's the problem for us all in this situation. I'm in Australia, so it feels a bit difficult from here. Does anyone know exactly how to go about it? does it cost money?
It's not difficult. All that needs to be done is to email an organisation or institution's Data and Information Office. All websites will have a page for this setting out the contact details.
Sometimes an online form is provided, otherwise you can submit via email.
Set out clearly the information you are requesting.
Ask for an acknowledgement and any reference number asigned to the the request.
You are not even required to ask "under the FOI Act", it will be treated as such, anyway. But I usually write "I request the following under the FOI Act."
As for costs, a charge may be made for complex requests for large amounts of information. You would be advised in advance of any charge. I have never been charged.
That's all there is to it. A response has to be provided, by law, within 20 working days.