Freedom of Information (FOI)
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives you a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, including local councils. The legislation is designed to promote greater openness and transparency throughout the public sector.
Herefordshire Council has two main responsibilities under the Act:
- We must produce a publication scheme, approved by the Information Commissioner. This is a guide to information held by the council that is routinely made available to the public. Under the Act, this includes all information held anywhere within an institution and does not have to be in the form of a specific document or structure. The scheme describes how and when this information is published and whether it is available free of charge or by payment
- We must deal with individual requests for information. This is known as the 'right to ask'. Any person or body, including companies resident in or outside the UK, has the right to ask whether the council holds the particular information in question
You also have the right to access information about yourself held by a local council under other legislation including:
- The Data Protection Act 2018
Download a copy of our policy on charging for information requests.
Request information under FOI
Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act must:
- Be in writing (including via an online form, email or letter)
- Have a name and address to respond to
- Outline enough information for the council to clearly understand what information is being asked for
- Be answered within 20 working days of receipt of request
Request environmental information
Requests for information under the Environmental Information Regulations:
- Can be verbal or in writing
- Must be answered within 20 working days of receipt of request
Request review procedure
If you are dissatisfied with your response to a request for information, you can ask for a panel of staff not previously involved with the request to review the response.