Access to information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 came into effect on 1 January 2005. The aim of the Act and Regulations is to open up the inner workings of government departments and public bodies - some of whom may have preferred to keep information to themselves. The general principle is that people have a right to know and should not have to demonstrate a need to know.

Uttlesford District Council sees the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations as welcome opportunities both to improve the ways in which it informs the public it serves and to improve the ways in which it manages the large amount of information it holds. Information is one of the most, if not the most, important assets the Council has, and the legislation provides a catalyst to make it more widely available and manage it more efficiently.

The Council wishes to conduct its business in an open and honest fashion. When the Council makes a decision, it is important that the Public is informed how these decisions have been made. The provisions of the legislation will enable the Public to understand the Council and its work through improved access to information.

  1. Availability The Council will make information publicly available unless there are exemptions or exceptions which relate to the information and (where applicable) the public interest balancing test has been met.
  2. Confidentiality The Council will not classify documents as CONFIDENTIAL without clear justification for doing so.
  3. Exemptions The Council recognises that the exemptions and exceptions to the right of access to information may allow the Council not to release a document but may not prevent it from releasing that document.
  4. Presumption in favour of disclosure where the factors favouring the application of the exemption and the factors favouring disclosure of the information are equal the Council will apply the presumption in favour of disclosure and make the information requested available.
  5. Equality The Council will develop an environment in which access to information is not dependant on a person's physical, social or educational circumstances, or first language.
     

Publication Scheme

Uttlesford District Council has produced a Icon for pdf Publication Scheme [518.69KB] setting out what information the Council will make routinely available to the public as a matter of course; how it will do so; and whether or not this information will be made available free of charge or on payment of a fee. A copy of the Publication Scheme is also available from the Council Offices.

If you want to request any information that is not covered by the publication scheme, please put your request in writing to the council. For more information, please see the council's Icon for pdf Access to Information Policy [28.09KB].

To submit a Freedom of Information Act request, either write to the council or email your request to foi@uttlesford.gov.uk
 

What to do if you are dissatisfied

The Council has a set complaints procedure and any complaints about the Data Protection Act, the Environmental Information Regulations or the Freedom of Information Act may be dealt with by contacting the Monitoring Officer or Chief Executive at the following address:

Council Offices
London Road
Saffron Walden
Essex
CB11 4ER

Tel 01799 510510

The complaint will be dealt with by the Monitoring Officer in the first instance or (if the complaint relates to a decision of the Monitoring Officer) by a Director nominated for that purpose by the Chief Executive. Unless the enquiry is made under the Environmental Information Regulations (in which case any further complaint is made directly to the Information Commissioner) if the applicant remains dissatisfied he/she may appeal to the Chief Executive. If the applicant does not accept the decision of the Chief Executive he/she may complain to the Information Commissioner (either about Data Protection or Freedom of Information) at the following address:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Fax :01625 524 510 DX: 20819 Wilmslow
Tel: 01625 545 745 e-mail: data@dataprotection.gov.uk