The Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the Act") came onto force on the 1st January 2005 and applies to all public authorities, which includes local government, and relates to the disclosure of "information" held by each authority. The Act provides the right of individuals to request information that the local authority possesses, however recorded and regardless of the date of the information.
The Act also requires the Council to publish a publication scheme. The publication scheme is a way of providing easy access to the information that the Council proactively publishes. Anyone wishing to make a request for information will find it useful to consult the publication scheme in the first instance as the information they require may have already been published. You can find the publication scheme here http://www.fdean.gov.uk/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=6543. (This documents also contains reference to our Document Retention Policy)
The Council has 20 working days from receipt of the request to process it and either make the information available or apply one of the exemptions set out in the legislation.
If you wish to make a request you can either complete the Freedom of Information Request Form online by clicking here www.fdean.gov.uk/nqcontent.cfm or you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org When making a request you may wish to bear the following items in mind:
- Any person, whether resident in the district or elsewhere, can request any information held by the Council
- The information requested can be in any format – paper or electronic
- The request can be as broad or as focused as the applicant desires, although note there is ability for the Council to request more information where a request is so broad we are unable to identify the information requested. This may lead to a delay in processing your request
- The information need not necessarily relate to the Council's actions or activities but for the information it holds
- The request must be in writing but need not formally refer to FOI
- The Council has 20 working days to respond which commences from the date the request was delivered.
- If the Council fail to respond or do not provide the information requested you can apply for a review of your request which will be carried out by the Councils Strategic Director, and if you remain dissatisfied you can refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office
- Requests which are not for recorded information, but instead ask questions such as ‘please explain your policy on x’ or ‘please explain your decision on y’ are not requests for recorded information and therefore should be treated as routine correspondence
- The Council retains and destroys documents and information in accordance with its Document Retention Policy and therefore depending upon the age of the information you are requesting some or all of it may have been destroyed
Responsibility for overseeing the operation of the Act has been given to the Information Commissioner. The post is independent and reports directly to Parliament. The address of the Information Commissioner is: Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF and the website is http://www.ico.gov.uk