The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (The Act) came into force on 1st January 2005. The Act gives you the right of access to information held by Powys County Council (the Council) although the Council may refuse access to the information if that information falls within any of the Act's 23 exemptions. The exemptions protect against the disclosure of information that would harm commercial interests, information provided in confidence, personal information, and other important interests.
Your right to ask for information only relates to information held by the Council at the time you make your request. Information may be in any form, e.g. paper documents, computer printouts, digests, maps, plans, photographs etc.
When making a request you must describe the information you are looking for and provide as much detail as possible. The Council produces a wide range of information and you should first check the Council's Publication Scheme to find out if the information you wish to request is already published. The Publication Scheme is available on the Council's website.
Yes. However, a request for information about yourself is not dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Personal information about yourself falls under the Data Protection Act 1998. When requesting for personal information about yourself please write to the Department concerned or contact Information Management who will be able to advise you.
Requests for information can be submitted directly to the relevant Department. If you do not know which department holds the information you need, you can email Information Management at firstname.lastname@example.org If you do not have an email account, or are using a public account, or are using a public computer, you can use the online form.
Describe the information as fully as you can to enable the Council to identify and locate it. For instance, describe who you think holds the information, when it was produced, what it is about and what format it is in. If you are requesting personal information, please state precisely in whose name the information is held. You will not normally be given access to the personal information of another person unless you have obtained the written consent of that person. Where you provide insufficient information to enable the Council to identify or locate the information you are asking for, or where your request is ambiguous, the Council will as far as practicable provide you with assistance to enable you to describe more clearly the information you are requesting. The aim of this assistance will be to clarify the nature of the information sought and not necessarily to determine your aims or motivation for asking for the information. Where information is likely to be refused on cost grounds, the Council will give you an indication of what information could be provided within the cost ceiling.
The Council may not hold the information you are asking for because the information may have been destroyed in accordance with the Council's Retention Schedule or the information may be held by another public body. In such cases, you will be told that the Council does not hold the information. Where the Council believes that the information is held by another public body and that it would be appropriate to transfer your request to that other body, you will be advised that the Council is making the transfer. Your application will only be transferred with your consent.
You are entitled to say how you wish the information to be communicated to you. This may be by letter, in the form of a digest or summary of the information or by inspection of the information at the Council's offices on a date and at a time to be mutually agreed between you and the Council's Assistant Information Officer of the Department that you have directed the request to. Any costs associated with this may be passed onto you.
The Council will respond promptly to your request for information and in any event no later than on the 20th working day following the date of receipt of your application. In certain circumstances, if it is likely to take longer, the Council will inform you.
Yes. Vexatious and repeated requests and/or applications made with the aim of frustrating the operations of the Council may be refused. The Council may refuse to comply with a request for information where the Council estimates that the costs of complying with the request would exceed the costs ceiling set by the Government, or when a request does not contain the mandatory information outlined in the section 'How do I make a request?' The Council may also refuse to comply with a request for information where the information is considered to be exempted under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You will be given an explanation of the reasons for refusing your request for information.
Yes. If you are not satisfied with the decision i.e. your request has been refused or, where you consider that your request has not been properly dealt with, you can make a formal complaint under the Council's Complaints Procedure. For full details of this procedure please go to the 'Complaints' section of these web pages or contact Information Management.
If you are not satisfied with the decision, or where the Council has failed to respond to you within the time specified in the Complaints Procedure or, within the time agreed between you and the Council, you may apply to the Information Commissioner for an independant review at the following address:
The Information Commissioner
Tel: 01625 545700