Freedom of Information Act
1. What is the Freedom of Information Act 2000?
The Act requires all public authorities, including councils, to be open with information. The Act gives a general right to access to all types of recorded information held by the Council. It sets out exemptions from that right and places various obligations upon the Council. The Act came into force in two stages. From February 2003 the Council was required to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme. From January 2005 any person who makes a request to the Council for information must be informed whether the Council holds that information and, subject to exemptions, supplied with that information.
These pages are designed to provide clear and concise advice on how to request information from the Council.
For more information on the Freedom of Information Act please visit the Information Commissioners’ website www.ico.gov.uk
2. Freedom of Information - frequently asked questions
The Council has produced a short guide in the form of questions and answers which explains about the Act, provides guidelines about making a request and provides information on what to do if your request is refused or you are unhappy with the information provided.
3. What is a Publication Scheme?
A Publication Scheme is a guide to the information that the Council routinely publishes. It includes all forms of information from a bound book or brochure to a mass produced leaflet and web based information.
The purpose of this Publication Scheme is to ensure that a significant amount of information is available without the need for a specific request. The Publication Scheme sets out the classes of information that the Council publishes or intends to publish, how the information in each class is, or is intended to be published and any charge that may apply.
Horsham District Council's Publication Scheme has recently been reviewed. The new model publication scheme issued by the Information Commissioner has been adopted as from 1 January 2009. Please note that the Publication Scheme is a 'living' document and as such will be reviewed and updated. It is expected that the type of information included within the scheme will increase.
The Council's Complaints and Information Officer, Sarah Gill, is the officer responsible for the Publication Scheme. You can contact her on (01403) 215470 or by e-mailing email@example.com. A number of specific officers are responsible for maintaining the informatiion within their areas of work on a day to day basis.
To access the Council’s Publication Scheme and for full instructions on how to search through the Publication Scheme, please visit www.horshamfoi.org.uk/search.asp
If you require a hard copy of the Council's publication scheme, please contact the Complaints and Information Officer on 01403 215470.
4. Disclosure Log
In this section you can see information the Council has released under the Freedom of Information Act 2005. We make every effort to post disclosures onto the website as quickly as possible after we have released the information. The information posted here shows the nature of the request and the response provided by Horsham District Council, but it does not give details of those making the requests. The Disclosure Log can be viewed at www.horshamfoi.org.uk/disclosureLogYear.asp .
5. Requesting Information
If you would like to request information you can do so either in writing, by e-mail or fax.
We have produced a request form which might help you make your request. This is a pdf form which can be printed off and sent in. Alternatively, use our on-line request form.
The Council wishes to make as much information as possible available free of charge. However, some Publications have a cover charge. Where photo copies of documents are required these will be charged for.
The Council welcomes comments and suggestions on how it can improve the scheme as it is important that the Scheme meets your needs.
Please send your comments to:
The Complaints and Information Officer
Horsham District Council
Phone: 01403 215470
8. Making a Complaint
If you wish to object to the Council's decision in the first instance you may approach the Council by writing to the Senior Solicitor (Monitoring and Standards), Legal Services, Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1RL. Should you remain dissatisfied you can appeal against the decision by contacting the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.
The Council publishes an annual report giving details of FoI activity over the previous year. The report provides such information as number of requests, types of requestors, response times and details of any exemptions. The latest report is available below.