Freedom of information (FOI)
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives a public right of access to information held by public bodies, and places obligations on public bodies to release the information on request if it is not subject to an exemption.
Who can make a Freedom of Information request?
Everyone has the right to request information held by any local authority. In most cases you will be sent the requested information within 20 working days unless there is a specific reason not to send it, in this case it will be considered ‘exempt’ under one of the exemptions set out in the Freedom of Information Act (for example, if the requested information includes personal information).
Is it free of charge?
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.