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What is Freedom of Information?

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

It is legislation that gives an individual a right of access to recorded information held by public authorities, such as the Council. There are two main responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA):

  • to produce a 'Publication Scheme': a guide to the information held and which is publicly available, and
  • to process individual requests for recorded information.

As long as the information requested won’t take too long to gather, this service is free. If your information will take longer than 18 hours to gather (this time limit is set out by Freedom of Information Act), your request may be refused, or a charge might be made. You will be informed of any charges involved, and can then decide whether to continue with your request. The team will  also attempt to assist you in refining your request so comes in within the 18 hour rule.

What is a ‘Publication Scheme’?

The publication scheme commits an authority to make information available as part of its normal business activities. The Council has adopted the Information Commissioners Office model publication scheme.  This is a set of definition documents that a public authority should make routinely available.

What if the information is not available from the Publication Scheme?

The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 sets out the minimum data that local authorities should be publishing, the frequency it should be published and how it should be published. 

Our Transparency and published information can be found here.

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