The Freedom of Information Act 2000 aims to promote openness and accountability among public bodies by ensuring that people have access to information held by them. It does this to provide a better understanding of how public authorities carry out our duties, how we make decisions and how we spend our finances.
In responding to the Freedom of Information Act, we aim to show that we are an open organisation committed to delivering high quality public services.
Under the terms of the Act, we must adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme (509 KB) to set out the classes of information we hold, how we publish or intend to publish the information in those classes and whether we will charge for the information. We aim to ensure that a significant amount of information is available without the need for a specific request to be made.
Most of the information we hold is covered within our publication scheme. However, since January 2005, the Freedom of Information Act has established a right for any person making a request to us to be informed in writing whether or not we hold the information requested. If so, they should have access to it, subject to some exemptions.
Whilst the Freedom of Information Act creates a right to request specific information held by public bodies, it also creates a number of exemptions from Freedom of Information Act. These allow public authorities to withhold some or all of the information requested if it fits the terms of one or more of the exemptions.
Our complaints procedure can be used by anyone who considers that we are not complying with the publication scheme or have not dealt properly with a request for information within the terms of the Freedom of Information Act.
If you have any further queries, some frequently asked questions have been identified.