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Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004

Introduction

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) aims to promote openness and accountability among public bodies by ensuring that people have access to information held by them and gives you the right to request information held by the Council.

EIR applies only to the environmental information held by public authorities and the FOIA gives people access to most other types of information held by public authorities.

Neither the Freedom of Information Act nor the EI Regulations give people access to their own personal data (information about themselves).  Individuals have a right of access to information held about them under the UK General Data Protection Regulations (the UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018).

The Council's Publication Scheme

Before you make a request, check to see whether this information is already published by the Council.  It may save you time if it is already published. Under the terms of the Act, we must adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme PDF (1 MB) 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. 

The Council's Publication Scheme identifies which of the Council's departments holds the information you are requesting, or where it is published online.

Making Requests for information

If information is not contained within our Publication Scheme, individuals and organisations can make Freedom of Information or Environmental Information Regulation requests. 

Requests under FOIA must be made in writing (under EIR, they can be written or verbal) and must include your real name (including name of an organisation or by one person on behalf of another). 

You should be clear about the information you are seeking to enable the Council to identify and locate the information requested.  If we need further clarification from you, we will write to you and tell you what clarification we need.

You can submit a request via our online form, by email to foi@fareham.gov.uk or in writing to FOI Team, Fareham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Fareham, PO16 7AZ.

How can I obtain information about myself?

Personal Information relating to an applicant is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations.  Individuals have a right of access to information held about them under the UK General Data Protection Regulations (the UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018).  These are often referred to as Subject Access Requests (SARs) and if you wish to make a SAR, you can use our online form or email foi@fareham.gov.uk.

Fees

There may be occasions when the Council charges you for complying with a Freedom of Information request but in the majority of cases, you will not be.  Charges may include copying or postage charges and we will inform you of this fee which you will be required to pay before the information is released to you.  The Council will issue this request for payment in writing and if you do not pay within two months of your original request, we will cancel the request. 

Responding to requests

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Council is allowed up to 20 working days to respond to you request but we aim to respond as soon as possible.  In certain circumstances we can extend further, but we will write to you and explain why if we need to do this.  Where we require clarification of any request made, we will write to you to seek your clarification.

Whilst the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations create 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. The Council will always explain if it is withholding any information and why.

The supply of documents under the FOIA and EIR is protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1998.  You do not have an automatic right to re-use the information for commercial gain (for example by publishing the information, making multiple copies or issuing copies without the permission of the Council).  Information is usually released under an Open Government Licensing or a Non-Commercial Government License and more information will be contained in the Council's response to your request. 

Frequently Requested Information

Some of the information the Council holds is published under these sections to assist requesters where we identify the Council receives a high proportion of these requests:

Privacy Notice

When you submit a request either by email, in writing or via our online request submission form, Fareham Borough Council will collect the information you provide to process your request under our legal obligation to respond to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations requests.

We will use your information to respond to your request or to contact you for further information to assist us in processing your request and to carry out processing the requests, the Council may share your information with other departments within the Council, or organisations.  The Council may also share your personal information for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences.

The Council, however, will not share your personal information with third parties, or use it for this, or any other purpose, unless provided for by law.

Personal data provided will be retained by the Council for 3 years from the date of the Council's final response to your request, or date of complaint finalisation.  Further information about the Council's handling of your personal data can be found in our privacy policy.

Complaints

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review.Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and must clearly outline your reasons for making the request, including references to any individual documents which were provided as part of the Council's response.

Please include the Council's reference number (provided in our response). Any such complaints should be emailed to foi@fareham.gov.uk or can be made in writing to:

Head of Democratic Services
Fareham Borough Council
Civic Offices
Civic Way
Fareham
PO16 7AZ

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/ External Hyperlink
Telephone: 0303 1231113
Email: casework@ico.org.uk

Last updated 24 September 2021




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