WHAT IS THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT?
From 1 January 2009 any person or organisation has the right to request any information from the Parish Council that the Council holds, subject to the exemptions listed in the Act. The Act intends to promote a culture of openness and accountability and therefore facilitate better understanding of how the Council carries out their duties, why we make the decisions we do and how we spend public money.
ACCESSING INFORMATION VIA FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Avon Dassett Parish Council has adopted the model publication scheme from the Information Commissioners Office. The parish council information guide contains the types of information that the parish council routinely publishes, the format in which the information is available, where it is available and how much it will cost if there are any charges. The information is presented in the form of classes (categories) of information. These are split between:-
- general information relating to the Parish Council
- information relating to the individual services provided by the Parish Council
You may make a specific request for information and the Parish Council must deal with it in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. To make a request, please put your request in writing to the Clerk.
You must include:-
- your name and address.
- the information you require in as much detail as you can offer.
The Parish Council will normally be required to respond to your request within 20 working days from the date of receipt. However, this period can be extended in certain circumstances.
The Parish Council must supply the information you have requested (if we hold it) within the timescale previous stated unless an exemption applies. An exemption may either permit the Parish Council to withhold some or all of the information. If an exemption applies, the Parish Council may take more time to consider your request. In either case, you will be informed.
There is no charge for searching for information up to £450.00 but we make a nominal charge for disbursements, eg photocopying at £0.05 per A4 sheet and second class postage costs.
ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE
The Parish Council has a duty to provide advice and assist to help you obtain information from the Council. This could be in the form of:-
- providing help and assistance if you are visually impaired;
- arranging assistance in interpreting information into other languages where practically reasonable;
- in exceptional circumstances, noting down the request for you and obtaining your confirmation of the details.
- referring you to other agencies for help, such as Citizens Advice Bureau.
- if the Parish Council does not hold the information requested but believes that some or all of the information is held by another public authority, we will either provide you with the contact details of the other public authority or transfer your request to them with your consent.
If you require any advice or assistance, please contact the Clerk.