Freedom of Information Act
Publication Scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
The purpose of this publication scheme is to be a means by which the Council can make a significant amount of information available routinely. The scheme will ensure that the council will publish more information proactively, and help it to develop a greater culture of openness and transparency.
This authority’s key responsibilities are to represent the electorate of its area, to take action within the legal framework and to provide a leadership focus for the community.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 received Royal Assent on 30th November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities. A ‘public authority’ is defined in the Act, and includes but is not restricted to central and local government, non-departmental public bodies, the police, the National Health Service, and schools, college and universities. Any person who makes a request to a public authority for information must be informed whether the public authority holds that information and, subject to exemptions, supplied with that information.
Individuals already have the right of access to information about themselves under the Data Protection Act 1998. As far as public authorities are concerned, the Freedom of Information Act will extend this right to allow public access to all types of information held. New legislation came into force in 2008 requiring that Town/Parish Councils adopt a mandatory publication scheme to be operational from 1st January 2009. Further details are available from the Information Commissioner’s Office web site.