The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. The Act does this in two ways:
- The requirement for the local authority to publish and maintain a publication scheme (a guide to their services and information) and;
- The requirement for the local authority to respond to requests for information and provide a response within twenty working days
Anyone, including commercial companies, can make a freedom of information request (FOI). Individuals do not have to be a UK citizen, or reside in the UK, in order to make a request for information.
Recognising a request made under the Freedom of Information Act
There are some circumstances where, despite the validity of a request, it may be more appropriate for us to deal with it outside of the Act.
- If the requested information can be quickly and easily sent to the requester then it may be better dealt with in ‘the normal course of business’; for example, a request for a current leaflet.
- If the request is for the requester’s own personal data then it should be dealt with as a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 2018.
Search for FOI requests
The council publishes all responses issued to FOI and EIR requests on our FOI Disclosure Log. The log is updated weekly, so we encourage you to search for the information you require before submitting a request, as we may have previously responded to something similar.
Submit an FOI request
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) & Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)
If the information you require is not in our Publication Scheme, or available on the FOI Disclosure Log, Data Transparency pages, then you can make either a FOI or EIR request.
The Council will treat any request for environmental information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). The EIRs are very similar to FOIs in that we must respond to requests within 20 working days and we must proactively publish environmental information. Examples of environmental information which the Council might hold would include information about planning, waste management and pollution.
FOI requests must be submitted in writing or you can make a request online using this email address – FOI@rutland.gov.uk. EIR requests can be made verbally, however we do encourage written requests to ensure that we have as much detail as possible in order to search for and provide the information you have asked for.
You should receive the information you have requested within 20 working days of making your request. If we need to extend this, we will contact you and explain why. We may not be able to release certain information to you and where this is the case we will clearly set out the reasons for withholding the information in our response to you. You will also be provided with details of how to appeal our decision.
If you require further assistance, please contact the Information Governance Team by telephone on 01572 722577
or email FOI@rutland.gov.uk.