The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. It also sets out exemptions from that right of access and places a number of obligations on public authorities, including Ashfield District Council.
Any person who makes a request to a public authority for information must be informed whether the public authority holds that information and, subject to exemptions, supplied with that information.
Individuals also have the right of access to information about themselves under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2003 requires every public authority to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme, which has been approved by the Information Commissioner and to publish information in accordance with that Scheme. The Information Commissioner has issued a Model Publication Scheme to be adopted by all public authorities with effect from 1 January 2009.
Ashfield District Council has based its Publication Scheme on the Model Publication issued by the Information Commission which provides seven classes of information:
1) Who we are and what we do
2) What we spend and how we spend it
- Financial Statements / Budgets / Budget Monitoring Reports
- Capital Programme
- External Audit Reports
- The Members' Allowances Scheme and the allowances paid under it to Councillors each year
- Pay and grading structures
- Election expenses - returns / declarations and accopmpnaying documents relating to election expenses sent to the Council
- Procurement procedures
- Details of contracts and tenders to businesses and to the voluntary community and social enterprises sector
- Details of grants to the voluntary community and social enterprises sector
- Internal financial regulations
3) What our priorities are and how are we doing
- Annual Reports
- Strategies and business plans for services provided by the Council
- Corporate plan
- Internal and external organisational performance reviews, including external audits
- Strategies developed in partnership with other Authorities
- Economic development plan
- Forward Plan
- Privacy Impact Assessments
- General Privacy Statement
- Data Matching - Audit/National Fraud Initiatives
4) How we make decisions
- Timetable of Council meetings
- Agendas, Officers' reports, background papers and minutes of council committee, sub committee and standing forum meetings
- Key Decisions / Major policy proposals and decisions
- Public consultations
- Internal Communications guidance, criteria used for decision making, internet instruction manuals and guidelines
- Cabinet Forward Plan
5) Our polices and procedures
- Policies and procedures for conducting Council business
- Policies and Procedures for delivering services
- Pay Policy Statement
- Policies and procedures about the recruitment and employment of staff
- Customer Service / Complaints Procedure
- Information Management Law Overview and Policies - Data Protection, Freedom of Information, Environmental Information Regulations, Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations
- Charging Regimes and Policies
6) Lists and registers
- Public Registers and Registers held as Public records
- Burial Registers - Cemetery Records Online
- Contaminated land information requests
- Land and property availability lists
- Listed Buildings
- Local Land Charges - Access to Information List
- Local Land Charges Register
- Asset Register
- Register of Electors
- Register of Councillors, Financial and other Interests
- Register of Gifts and Hospitality
7) The services we offer
- A-Z of Information and Services
- Planning process
- Licensing responsibilities
- Services for local businesses
- Services for other organisations
- Services for members of the public
- Services for which the Council is entitled to recover a fee, together with those fees
- Information for visitors to the area / leisure information / events
- Leaflets, booklets and newletters
- Media releases
- Election information
- Forthcoming elections
- How to become a Councillor
- Voting preferences
How much do publications cost?
The Council recognises that making information available proactively is in the public interest and imposing high levels of charges for routine information could be seen to undermine public access to official information. Most of the information made available under the Model Publication Scheme is published on the Council's website and will be made available no cost.
The Model Publication Scheme allows for fees to be charged where it can be justified. The Council will only charge a fee where a statutory charge applies or the information is provided in hard copy form.
A copy of the Council's Charging Policy can be found by clicking this link.
How are they published?
Most of the information made available under the Model Publication Scheme is published on the website. Where the document or information is not available on the website, the guide to information will specify who to contact to arrange an appointment to view or obtain copies.
What about information not published under the Publication Scheme?
Information held by the Council, which has not been published under this Scheme, can be requested in writing under the Freedom of Information Act.
The publication of the Scheme is a requirement of Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. A Scheme is a commitment to routinely and proactively provide information to the public. It is important therefore that the Scheme meets your needs. We welcome suggestions for additional information that could be included or how the Scheme might be improved. Any questions, comments or complaints about this Scheme should be sent to:
Ashfield District Council
Or by email to email@example.com