Forensic Archive Ltd. (FAL) was previously named Forensic Science Service Ltd. (FSS), the leading supplier of forensic science expertise to UK law enforcement agencies. On 14 December 2010, the Government announced the closure the FSS and FAL’s services to the criminal justice system are now limited to the secure retention and management of forensic case files and case material. On 1 October 2012, FAL took its current name to reflect this change.

FAL, as a wholly government owned company is a public authority subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act). The FOI Act provides a general right of public access to recorded information held by public authorities and sets out 23 exemptions where the right of access to information is either not allowed or is qualified. The exemptions relate to issues such as national security, law enforcement, commercial interests and personal data. Some exemptions include a duty to consider whether disclosure is required in the public interest.

The FOI Act provides the public with two general rights (each subject to exemptions and conditions):

  • the right to be told if FAL holds requested information
  • the right to receive the information


FAL requires that FAL has a Publication Scheme that sets out the classes of information that FAL will readily make available. Click here to view FAL’s Publication Scheme.


If you have a complaint about our Publication Scheme, or how FAL has dealt with a request for information, please write to


The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent public body set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information. The ICO regulates and enforces the Data Protection Act 2018, UK-GDPR as well as the FOI Act. The ICO provides guidance to organisations and individuals, making decisions on eligible complaints, and have the authority to take action when the law is broken. Reporting directly to Parliament, the ICO’s powers include the ability to order compliance using enforcement, decision notices, and prosecution.