Established in accordance with Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000


Forensic Archive Ltd. (FAL) was previously named Forensic Science Service Ltd. (FSS), which
was the leading supplier of forensic science expertise to law enforcement agencies in the UK. On 14 December 2010, the Government announced that it had decided to wind down Forensic Science Service Ltd.’s forensic operations. As a result of this decision and following the complete closure of FSS’ forensic operations, FAL’s services to the criminal justice system are now limited to the secure retention and management of forensic case files and case material. The new name took effect from 01 October 2012 to reflect this new emphasis and functionality.

For the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act), FAL is a Government Owned Company, and therefore meets the description of a public authority. As such, FAL is under an obligation to comply with the FOI Act’s legislative provisions concerning access to recorded information. Broadly, 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 (the disclosure of which is governed by data protection legislation). Most exemptions provide for a duty to consider whether disclosure is required in the public interest.

The FOI Act provides the public with two general rights:

– the right to be told (subject to certain exemptions) if FAL holds the requested

– the right to receive the information, where possible in the manner requested, subject to
certain exemptions and conditions


An additional requirement contained in the FOI Act is an obligation set out in section 19 to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme that defines the classes of information that public authorities are committed to publishing. Click here to view FAL’s Publication Scheme and to read more about the FOI Act.

Purpose and aims of FAL

FAL’s mission is to securely store and provide timely retrieval of casework and supporting material created by the former Forensic Science Service Ltd. in support of the wider Criminal Justice System, whilst achieving best value for money for the Home Office.

Purpose and structure of the Publication Scheme

The publication scheme provides a route map so that you can find information eligible for
inclusion within the Publication Scheme quickly and easily. The Scheme specifies:

  • the classes of information we publish or intend to publish
  • the manner in which the information in each class is or is intended to be published; and
  • whether the material is or is intended to be available free of charge or on payment.

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 1998, 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 and decision notices, and prosecution.


The material available through this Publication Scheme is subject to FAL’s copyright unless otherwise indicated.

Obtaining documents and information under the Publication Scheme

All information on the FSS’ Publication Scheme and the website is freely available for downloading, if you have internet access. Otherwise, copies will be provided on request. Other information published in accordance with this Publication Scheme, but not available electronically, will also be sent on request. You can request published information by e-mailing FAL at


We indicate in the individual Publication Scheme Information Classes where a charge may be levied. The following could apply to information you intend to use for private research / study:

  • Free of charge on the website (i.e. there is no charge by us, but the user will have to meet any charges by their Internet service provider, personal printing costs, etc.) For those without Internet access, a single printout as on the website will be available by post from the above contact address. However, requests for multiple print outs or for archived copies of documents which are no longer available on the web, may attract a charge for the cost of retrieval, photocopying, postage etc. We will let you know this at the time of your
    request. Any charge will be payable in advance.
  • Free of charge leaflets or booklets.


If you have a complaint about the operation of this Publication Scheme, or how FAL has
dealt with a request for information, please write to:

Review of the Publication Scheme

We will review our Publication Scheme in November 2014 and annually thereafter. In addition, we shall routinely monitor its operation.

Disclosure log

FAL will publish the responses to request for information under the FOI Act that have resulted in a release of information.

0001.10 Back calculations to determine

0003.10 Payment to suppliers

0008.10 Corporate Branding Guidelines

0010.10 Salaries over £100,000

0012.10 Amount of funding to trade unions and allocation of staff time

Click here to view FAL’s Publication Scheme and to read more about the FOI Act.

FAL Freedom of Information Act enquiries