Freedom of information policy

Overview of the act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 came into force on 1 January 2005.

Under the act, any person has a legal right to ask for access to information held by this council. They are entitled to be told whether the council holds the information and to receive a copy, subject to certain exemptions.

The information we routinely make available to the public is included in our publication scheme and requests for information are dealt with according to statutory guidance. We adopted the Information Commissioner’s Model Publication Scheme in 2009 and we are committed to reviewing and updating the information so that it can be easily identified and accessed by the general public.

While the act assumes openness, it recognises that certain information is sensitive. Legal exemptions are provided within the act to protect this information.

The act is fully retrospective, so any past records held by this council are covered under the legislation. It is an offence to wilfully conceal, damage or destroy information in order to avoid responding to an enquiry. It is important, therefore, that no records that are the subject of an enquiry are amended or destroyed.

Requests must be made in writing (this includes email), should include the enquirer’s full name and address and state what information they require. Requestors do not have to mention the act, nor do they have to say why they want the information.

There is a duty to respond to all requests, telling the enquirer whether or not the information is held and supplying the information that is held, except where exemptions apply. There is no requirement to collect data in specific response to an FOIA enquiry. There is a statutory time limit of 20 working days to respond to a request.

Last updated: 21/11/2022 14:00