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How to submit an FOI request

How to submit an FOI request

Submitting your request

Make your request for information as specific as possible and provide as full description of the information as you can. If your request is too broad we may ask you to clarify it, which means it will take longer to get the information you require.

Before you submit a request please check our Publication Scheme for the information you are after before making a formal Freedom of Information request.

Also, be clear about the format you would prefer to receive the information in, for example, by email or as a paper copy.

You can submit your FOI request via our online form or by contacting the Freedom of Information officer.

Once your request for information has been received

Any request for information will be treated by the council as a formal request for information and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) suggests that emails or letters are clearly marked as freedom of information or Environmental Information Regulations requests.

The Council will respond promptly to requests or, in any event, within 20 working days, although we have longer to consider whether the disclosure of normally exempt information would be in the public interest.

However, there is no extension to the time limit for considering the public interest test under Environmental Information Regulations, except where the request is big and complex.

When considering the public interest test, we will do so 'within a reasonable time.'

If the information is refused.

If we decide not to disclose information we will give reasons for not doing so, explaining how the exemption or exception applies and the arguments under the public interest test.

Under Environmental Information Regulations the public authority must reconsider its decision and reconsideration is also recommended for refusals under freedom of information.

We will also inform you of your right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.