Freedom Of Information (FOI)

Freedom Of Information (FOI)

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into effect on 1 January 2005 and covers any information held by public bodies.

Freedom of Information Logo

The principle of the Act is that information on any subject held by any public body should be available to the public. The right of access to information given in the Act includes both a right for you to be told if the information exists, and if so a right to receive it, subject to certain exemptions.

The Act requires the Council to produce a Publication Scheme which sets out the classes of information it already publishes and how that information can be obtained.  The publication scheme can be viewed by choosing the relevant link on the left of the page.

Our Frequently Asked Questions give more information about the Act. If you would like to make a request for information, further details on how to do this are set out in Making a Request for Information.

Re-use of Public Sector Information

Information requested under the Freedom of Information Act is provided for personal use only.  The Re-use of Public sector Information Regulations 2005 allow for applications to be made to re-use information once it has been obtained.  For further information on the regulations and how to make a request for re-use, please see Re-use of Public Sector Information link on the right of the page.

From 2nd January 2014, the Council may charge for the release of data sets in a re-usable form under section 102 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.  Anyone who makes a request for a data set will be advised if there will be a charge for providing the information.

Environmental Information Regulations 2005

Information is also available under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 which give members of the public the right to access environmental information held by public bodies.  For further information on the regulations and how to make a request for environmental information, please see Environmental Information Regulations FAQs.

Charging for Information

Freedom of Information Act

Under the Freedom of Information Act the Council may charge for providing information.  The charges which can be applied are set out in Regulations made under the Act and can include -

  • Prescribed costs - those which the Council will incur in determining if the information requested is held, finding it and retrieving it.

The regulations give a figure of £25 per hour for the purposes of calculating prescribed costs.  This equates to around 18 hours of staff time.  If the prescribed costs are less than £450, information is provided free of charge.  If, however, prescribed costs exceed £450, the Council is not obliged to provide the information.

  • Disbursements - these include the cost of reproduction (paper, toner etc), postage and providing information in a specific format, if required.

In most cases the fee which the Council will be able to charge will relate to disbursements only.

Environmental Information Regulations

The rules governing charges in respect of requests for environmental information are set out in the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.  The council is entitled to charge "a reasonable amount" for making environmental information available.  The Council will normally seek to recover the cost of providing environmental information including copying and postage etc costs. However, where the information is subject to a statutory charging regime, those charges will be applied.

Copying charges for providing information under both the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations are as follows:

Charges for Information

Charges for Information Per Page
 Number of Pages Charge













350-399 £35
400-449 £40
450-499 £45
500 or more £50

A charge may be associated with the production of large scale maps.

Freedom of Information
tel: 0115 917 7777