Following requests for advice from Members about their constituency correspondence held by public authorities including health trusts, House officials issued guidance in December 2005. The guidance was based on the requirements placed on public authorities by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Unless an exemption applies the public authority must respond to requests for information by confirming or denying it holds relevant material and, where held, providing a copy.
In practice an exemption (e.g. for personal or confidential information) may apply to the whole or part of such correspondence. The public authority is required to take a view on each case.