Requests for information must be made in writing, which
includes e-mails. The request must state the name
and address of the person applying for the information and the
Written requests should be made to:
Central Freedom of Information Officer
Bassetlaw District Council
E-mail address FOIrequests@bassetlaw.gov.uk
Public authorities generally have 20 working days
commencing the day after the receipt of the request in which to
Public Authorities Have a Duty to Provide Assistance
Public authorities are required to provide advice
and assistance to people who have made or who are thinking of
making a request. This will help applicants understand their
rights under the Act and identify the information they want.
Public authorities are allowed to charge you a
fee for responding to your requests. The amount that can be
charged will be set out in regulations.
A maximum fee of £450 will apply.
You can either ask for a copy of the information
you seek, the change to inspect the records, or even to be provided
with a summary of the information.
The public authority should try and provide the
information in the form requested unless it is unreasonable to do
If any of the information requested is exempt you
should be told which of the exemptions has been relied on to
withhold the information.
There are 23 exemptions from the general rights
- Certain information relating to national security, information
that would prejudice international relations, commercially
sensitive information, confidential information.
- Environmental Information can be accessed through the
Environmental Information Regulations.
- If you wish to access information about yourself you should use
your rights under the Data Protection Act. Personal data
about other people cannot be released if to do so would breach the
Data Protection Act. Exemptions that do not have a public
interest test as known as absolute exemptions.
- If you already have reasonable access to the information you
want then you should use that means. Therefore if information
is available through a publication scheme the public authority can
simply direct you to its scheme.
- Some of the exemptions require the public authority to consider
whether it is in the public interest to withhold information.
- Consideration of the public interest may take longer than the
20 days normally allowed for responding to requests.
- In these cases the public authority must give you an estimate
of when it will have reached a decision on where the public
interest lies within 20 days of receiving the request.
Request a Review
If you are not happy with the response you
receive you must first complain to the
If you are still unhappy you may complain to the
Information Commissioner who will
decide whether the request has been handled properly.
Both you and the public authority are informed of
the Commissioner’s decision in a Decision Notice. Where
appropriate the Decision Notice will instruct the public authority
what steps it needs to take to comply with the Act, this may
include the release of information. Both you and the public
authority may appeal against a decision notice to the Information
The Commissioner can also issue a public
authority with an Enforcement Notice stating what steps it should
take to comply with the Act. Although it is similar to a
Decision Notice in some respects, the Commissioner does not need to
wait to respond to a complaint from you that a request has been
incorrectly handled before taking this form of enforcement action.
Only the public authority may appeal to the Information
Tribunal against such a notice.
Last Updated - 11/10/2011