Freedom of information - advice

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives any person the right to request information held by public authorities such as Bracknell Forest Council.

Before making your information request

The council already publishes a large amount of information, both on its website and in its publication scheme. You may find that the information you require is already on the website, so please check first to see whether the information is readily available.

If your information request is for personal information about yourself please see the data protection act page. 

Is there any situation when information will not be supplied?

There are 23 exemptions within the freedom of information act and if the information requested falls into one of these exemptions we may refuse to supply the information. For example, information that is commercially sensitive or has been provided in confidence. When information is withheld the applicant will be informed and told the reasons why.

If a request will cost us more than £450 (equivalent to 2.5 days work) to fulfil then it can be refused.

Charges

You will not be charged for the inspection of documents or for viewing information. However, where a significant amount of photocopying is required a charge may be made. If a fee is required, you will be informed and you will need to pay in advance.

Make a freedom of information request

You can make a freedom of information request in the following ways:

The council will respond to requests as soon as possible and within 20 working days from the day after the request is received.

Format of the information

The freedom of information act gives you a right to receive information and not a right to receive documents.

However, you may express a preference for one or more of the following options:

  • a copy of the information in a permanent form, or another form acceptable to you
  • a reasonable opportunity to inspect a record containing the information
  • a summary of the information in a permanent form or another form acceptable to you

The council will comply with your preference as far as is reasonably practicable.

Environmental Information

The provision of environmental information is regulated by the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Requests can be made via the freedom of information request procedure. In addition to this, under the terms of the regulations, verbal requests will also be accepted. Responses will be provided as soon as possible and within 20 working days from the day after the request is received.

Complaints about the council’s response to freedom of information request

If you are not happy with the response to your freedom of information request and would like to make a complaint please see our complaints procedure page.

If you are still unsatisfied after complaining to the local authority you can seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. Requests for a review by the Information Commissioner should be made in writing directly to:

The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545700
Fax: 01625 545510

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