Freedom of InformationPublic Information
- What information can be requested?
- How do I make a request for information?
- When will I receive the information?
- Will there be a charge?
- Can I appeal against the decision?
- Where do I send my request for information?
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information, although certain exemptions have been provided, held by public authorities. One of the responsibilities under the Act is to produce and maintain a publication scheme, which is designed to allow easy access to information not routinely available from other sources. The publication scheme must set out the types of information the authority publishes, the format(s) in which it is available and details of any charges incurred. Click here to view Derry City Council’s Publication Scheme. All public authorities will be required to deal with individual requests from 1st January 2005 when the general right of access to information held by public authorities comes into force. Anyone will be able to make a request for information, although the request must be made in writing. Return to menu
2. What information can be requested?
You can make a request to see or to have copies of any records, which are held by Derry City Council. However some records may not be available if they are covered by an exemption. There are two categories of exempt information under the Act: non-absolute exemptions and absolute exemptions. Where we are claiming an exemption under the Act, we must inform you of the specific exemption which we are claiming and why it applies, within 20 working days. If the information requested is covered by an absolute exemption, we do not have to consider disclosing it in the public interest, nor do we have to state whether or not we hold the information in question. If the information requested is covered by a non-absolute exemption, we have to consider the public interest in disclosing information. Derry City Council may disclose information, even where an exemption applies, if the public interest in disclosure outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exemption. Return to menu
3. How do I make a request for information?
Your request must be in writing, including emails, giving details of your contact information, address and a detailed description of the information that you are requesting. In order to assist you, Derry City Council has included an access request form which can be downloaded here
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4. When will I receive the information?
We will respond to requests promptly and in any event, within 20 working days. If a charge applies or if additional information is required to deal with the request, this may lengthen the response time. In cases where information is covered by an exemption, but we are required to consider the public interest in releasing it, we will endeavour to provide the information, wherever possible, within the 20 working day target. However, if consideration of the public interest test is likely to cause delay, the applicant will be informed by the earliest opportunity. Return to menu
5. Will there be a charge?
Derry City Council believes strongly in openness so we will attempt to keep the cost of information as low as possible. There is no charge for making a request the charge will only apply before you are granted access to the records (if applicable). However, where it is necessary to charge for information, this will be made in accordance with the published schedule of fees which is available on the website through the publication scheme. You will be informed of any charges when you make your request. Return to menu
6. Can I appeal against the decision?
You have rights of review and appeal against our decisions or if you are generally dissatisfied with the way your request has been handled. These rights consist of two review processes. Firstly, by using our internal complaints procedure, which is available by contacting the: Town Clerk and Chief Executive, 98 Strand Road, Derry. BT48 7NN and Secondly, by appealing direct to the Office of the Information Commissioner: Information Commissioner Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, CHESHIRE, SK9 5AF Note: The Commissioner expects that the internal complaints procedure is completed before an appeal is made. Return to menu
7. Where do I send my request for information?
The contact details for submitting your request in writing to Derry City Council is:
Town Clerk and Chief Executive, Derry City Council 98 Strand Road, Derry. BT48 7NN. Or email : [email protected]
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