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Anybody has the right to request information from the general public authority. You have got two duties that are separate giving an answer to these demands:
- To tell the applicant whether you hold any given information falling inside the range of the demand; and
- to give that information
You ordinarily have 20 days that are working react to a demand.
For the request to be legitimate beneath the Freedom of Information Act it should be written down, but requesters don’t have to point out the Act or direct their demand up to a member that is designated of. Its good training to give you the contact information of one’s freedom of data officer or group, because it is addressed to a different member of staff if you have one, but you cannot ignore or refuse a request simply. Any letter or e-mail to an authority that is public for info is a obtain recorded information beneath the Act.
This does not suggest you need to formally treat every enquiry as a demand underneath the Act. It’s going to usually be many sensible and supply better customer support to cope with it as being a customer that is normal using your typical customer support procedures, as an example, if an associate regarding the public would like to understand what date their trash will likely be gathered, or whether a college has a place because of their kid. The conditions associated with the Act have to come right into force as long as:
- you simply cannot give you the required information right away; or
- the requester causes it to be clear they anticipate a reply underneath the Act.
This demand flowchart that is handling an overview associated with the steps to adhere to whenever managing an ask for information.
- Why is a demand legitimate?
- Can a concern be described as a valid demand?
- Should Parliamentary issues be treated as FOI needs?
- Whenever should we cope with a request as an FOI request?
- Exactly what are the timescales for responding?
- Exactly just What should we do whenever a request is received by us?
- Imagine if we have been unsure whatвЂ™s being expected for?
- What the results are whenever we donвЂ™t have the details?
- Can we now have time that is extra?
- Do we must inform them exactly exactly what information we now have?
- Do we must launch the data?
- Imagine if the info is inaccurate?
- Can we alter or delete required information?
- The information in what format should we give the requester?
- Can we charge for the information?
- Does the Act let us disclose information to a person that is specific team alone?
- Can there be whatever else we must think about?
Why is a request legitimate?
The request must to be valid under the Act
- be written down. This may be a page or e-mail. Demands may also be made through the internet, if not on social network web web web sites such as for instance facebook in the event your authority that is public uses;
- range from the requesterвЂ™s name that is real. The Act treats all requesters alike, so that you ought not to typically look for to validate the requesterвЂ™s identification. Nevertheless, you’ll choose to check always their identification they are using a pseudonym or if there are legitimate grounds for refusing their request and you suspect they are trying to avoid this online payday OR happening, for example because their request is vexatious or repeated if it is clear. Understand that a demand is manufactured in the true title of a organization, or by one individual on the part of another, such as for instance a solicitor on the part of a customer;
- include an address for communication. This do not need to function as the personвЂ™s residential or work target вЂ“ it could be any target from which you can easily compose for them, including a postal target or current email address;
- explain the information required. Any attempt that is genuine explain the data will likely be sufficient to trigger the Act, whether or not the description is confusing, or perhaps you believe it is too broad or unreasonable in some manner. The Act covers information maybe maybe not documents, so a requester need not request a document that is specific while they can do therefore). They are able to, as an example, inquire about a topic that is specific expect you to definitely gather the appropriate information to answer their enquiry. Or explain other options that come with the information (eg writer, date or sort of document).
It is really not a test that is hard satisfy. Most situations on paper which asks for information will count as being a demand beneath the Act. The Act contains other conditions to cope with demands which are too broad, uncertain or unreasonable.
Whether or not a demand is certainly not legitimate beneath the Freedom of Information Act, this doesn’t indicate it is possible to ignore it. Demands for вЂenvironmental informationвЂ™, for example, could be made verbally. You additionally have a responsibility to deliver assistance and advice to requesters. Where someone is apparently asking for information but has neglected to make a legitimate freedom request, draw their awareness of their legal rights under the Act and inform them steps to make a request that is valid.
For more information, read our more step-by-step guidance: