Publication Schemes are designed to encourage public authorities to proactively make more information available without requiring a formal request to be made under the Freedom of Information Act.
Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act gives a general right of access to all types of official information held by public authorities
The Freedom of Information Act is an Act of Parliament passed in 2000, which has been introduced and implemented with the specific aims of:
- Promoting a culture of openness and accountability amongst public authorities by providing people with rights of access to the information held by them.
- Facilitate better public understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions they do and how they spend public money.
Anybody can make a request to a public authority for information, and they must be informed if:
- The public authority holds that information, and
- Must be supplied with that information, (subject to exemptions) within 20 working days following receipt of the request.
Things you can do
There are several ways to request information under the freedom of information act. However, before making a request, you might want to check that:
- The information is not already available on this website. You can use the search engine, a-z of services, site map or browse the site using the navigation to find information.
- The information is not contained within our publication scheme or disclosure log.
Make a request now
In order to make an information request, you could:
- Use the online request form
- Download a request form from the downloads section. Once complete please send to this address:
Freedom of Information Officer
P.O. Box 503,
- Or send an email to email@example.com
Your request should set out clearly the information you want
- Be as clear as possible. If the authority isn't sure what you want, it will have to ask you for further clarification.
- Try to pinpoint what you really want. In some cases your request may be refused if it would be too expensive or time consuming for the authority to deal with.
- Do not ask for opinions. Freedom of Information only applies to information held by the Authority. Describing something is a matter of opinion/interpretation and is not information held.
- Say how you would prefer to receive the information, for example, electronically or as a hard copy, if available?
How should I word my request?
|Good Examples||Bad Examples|
How much did the council spend on refurbishing its offices in the financial year 2010/11?
Please send me information on the refurbishment of the office.
Please send me your policies and internal guidelines on customer services, and a copy of your complaints procedure.
Why does your authority seem to think it is acceptable to treat its customers with contempt?
The Act does not provide the right of access to personal information about yourself. This is available under the Data Protection Act , again subject to certain exemptions, and is known as a subject access request.
What can I do if I am not happy with the Council's decision on my request?
If you are not happy with the outcome of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 days of receipt of the response. Internal reviews will be carried out by the Corporate Complaints Manager, who has not been directly involved with the initial decision process. A response will be provided within 20 working days.
To request an internal review you should write to:
Information Governance Manager,
PO Box 503,
or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org