The Freedom of Information Act 2000 promotes openness in government and establishes a right of access for individuals to information that we hold. Under the FOIA Wyre Council has an obligation to disclose as much information as possible to the public, subject to certain exemptions.
You can find a range of information that the council produces via the Publication Scheme It is recommended that you refer to this first for information you require.
Exemptions on disclosure
There are exemptions which may be relevant to your request. Remember that an answer to a Freedom of Information request is made to the wider public, not just the person who has made the request.
Some of the more commonly used exemptions relate to:
- personal information, where disclosure of the information requested would breach the Data Protection Act
- information provided to us in confidence, such as a complaint about noise, where the information may identify the complainant
- information which if disclosed would prejudice our enforcement investigation
- information which if disclosed would put our staff at risk
- information which if disclosed would prejudice the commercial interests of the council or its partner
Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Full details of the exemptions can be found from the Information Commissioner's Office.
Charging for information
In most cases there will be no charge for copies of information. However, we may charge for disbursement costs.
If the amount of information requested is particularly complicated or takes staff hours to collect or collate, a charge could incur. If the request will cost more than £450 to locate, retrieve and extract the information then we can refuse to comply with your request, though we shall also advise you on how you may be able to refine your request. When considering the costs we charge staff time at £25 an hour. If any charges do apply, we will inform you as soon as possible.
How to request information
All requests for information need to be in writing, including by fax and email, and must include:
- your name
- a correspondence address
- a clear description of the information you are requesting
We will strive to disclose as much information as possible, though some information may be exempt from disclosure. We will always inform you if an exemption applies and why. You do have a right of appeal against a decision.
After the council receives your request, we have 20 working days to respond to it. We will acknowledge your request within two working days and provide you with a date of when you can expect a reply. We can extend this time-limit by a reasonable period if the request is complicated and we need more time to consider the public-interest of the exemptions.
Details of your request will be kept for up to three years, in order to take account for any appeal procedures. Where possible we shall ensure the information we hold is anonymous when it is used for statistical purposes aimed at improving our services. Your details may be shared with those who are involved in answering your request, though they will not be made public.
Complete a request online
Request by email
You can email a freedom of information request to email@example.com. Please include "FOI Request" in the subject line.
Request by post
You can make your request by post. Address the letter to:
Freedom of Information Act,
Appealing a decision
If you are not happy with how your request has been handled or how an exemption has been applied, you can appeal this decision. To do so contact us within two months of receiving your reply. We will reconsider your request and issue a decision accordingly. FOI legislation does not define a time period for conducting a review, only stating that the period be ‘reasonable and subject to regular review’. The ICO guidance states that an internal review should take no longer than 20 working days in most cases or 40 in exceptional cases. The council aims to carry out reviews within 20 working days commencing the day after receipt of a valid request.
If you remain dissatisfied, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office to consider your request. The ICO will not consider appeals unless our appeal procedure has been exhausted.