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Freedom of information

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

We already publish a large amount of information, both on this website and in our publication scheme. You may find that the information you require is already available, so please check first.

If your information request is for personal information about yourself please see our GDPR and the Data Protection act page.

What to include in your request

Your request should contain:

  • your contact details
  • how you would like the answer to your request sent to you

Timings

We will respond to requests within 20 working days from the day after the request is received.

Your request should be clear and specific. If we are not sure what you are asking for, we will contact you and ask you to explain.

We will not proceed with your request until we are sure of your requirements. We will start counting the 20 working day time limit the day after we get clarification.

If it is beyond the 20 working day limit and you have not heard from us, please email Information.Compliance-Officer@Bracknell-Forest.gov.uk with:

  • how you made the request (online, by email or by post)
  • details of the request

Charges

There is no charge for an FOI request.

If the request will take us more than 18 hours we have the right to either charge a fee or refuse it. In this case you will be given the opportunity to modify your request to avoid a charge or refusal. We may give you some suggestions for how your request could be adjusted to fit within the 18 hour time limit. If you decide to proceed with the original request and we are willing to process it, you will need to pay a fee in advance.

If a significant amount of photocopying is required a charge may be made. We will tell you what the fee is and you will need to pay this in advance. 

Format

The Freedom of Information Act gives you a right to receive information and not a right to receive documents.

You can tell us whether you prefer one or more of the following options:

  • a copy of the information in a written paper format or another form acceptable to you
  • a summary of the information in a written paper format or another form acceptable to you
  • a reasonable opportunity to inspect a record containing the information

We will follow your preference as far as is reasonably practicable.

Exemptions and refusal

There are 23 exemptions within the Freedom of Information Act. If your request 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 is exempt. If we refuse your request we will let you know the reasons why.

You can find out about exemptions on the ICO website

If a request will cost us more than £450 (equivalent to 18 hours work) to fulfil then it can be refused.

Environmental information

The provision of environmental information is regulated by the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. You can make a request for environmental information using our FOI online requests. In addition to this, under the terms of the regulations, verbal requests will also be accepted.

Timings

Responses will be provided as soon as possible and within 20 working days from the day after the request is received. 

If your request is complex and large, a response will be provided within 40 working days. In this case we will write to you to let you know that an extension is required as soon as possible. This will be no later than 20 working days after the day the request is received. 

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the response received, you can request an internal review of the decision. This should be made in writing within 40 working days of receiving the original response to the request. The reviewing officer will look into the matter and report back to you within a reasonable time frame, normally within 20 working days.

You should make your request in writing by:

Independent review

If you are still not satisfied, you can ask for an independent review from the Information Commissioner. 

You contact the ICO about this by: