Wednesday, 19th December 2018

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION POLICY AND THE MODEL PUBLICATION SCHEME

Maltby Town Council (MTC) has a commitment to openness and transparency and has always been conscious of making relevant information available wherever possible to individuals who request it, subject to safeguarding the privacy of individuals and to legitimate considerations of national security, law enforcement and commercial interests where relevant.

1. The Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act, which came into force on 1 January 2005, gives everyone a statutory right of access to information held by bodies such as Parish Councils

2. The Revised Model Publication Scheme
MTC adopted the revised model publication scheme issued by the Information Commissioners Office. (You can access a copy of the model scheme at the bottom of the document).

3. Website
A significant amount of the information for MTC including financial payments can be accessed on MTC’s website - www.maltbytowncouncil.co.uk

4. Requesting Information
Individuals or organisations may make a written request for information which they believe MTC holds. To request information under the provisions of the Act, and to help MTC in identifying the precise information you require please email maltby.town@btconnect.com or write to the Town Clerk at Maltby Town Council, Edward Dunn Memorial Hall, Tickhill Road, Maltby, Rotherham, S66 7NQ.

As required by the Act, the following will need to be included with the request:
  • Name of person requesting the information
  • Postal Address or email of the person requesting the information
  • A clear description of the information being requested
  • A preference of how the information is to be communicated e.g. hard copy, electronic or the opportunity to inspect a record containing the information. MTC will try to provide the information in the preferred media as far as is reasonably practical, or will notify the person requesting the information if MTC cannot do so.


5. Responding to Requests
MTC will inform the person requesting the information in writing if MTC hold the information requested and if so, will provide the information no later than 20 working days after receipt of the request.

6. Information Exempt from the Act
The Freedom of Information Act does identify a number of categories of information which MTC is not required to disclose und the Act. In this case, MTC will write to the person requesting the information, stating the exemption which provides the basis for refusal within Act. MTC will communicate this within 20 working days.

7. Charges
There is no ‘flat rate’ fee to receive information under the Freedom of Information Act and in many cases MTC will provide the information free of charge. However, if the information requested is not readily available in the media in which it is requested, MTC may charge a fee based on the costs associated with providing the information e.g. photocopying and postage.

8. Refusal of Requests
The Freedom of Information Act does permit MTC to refuse a request if MTC estimate that it will cost MTC in excess of the appropriate limit of 18hrs work.

9. Freedom of Information Fees Notice
If a fee is required for disbursements or because the appropriate cost limit, MTC will write advising of the fee required within 20 working days of receipt of the request. This is known as a ‘Fees Notice’. When a Fees Notice has been issued, the 20 working day limit for responding stops and will start again when MTC receive payment. If MTC do not receive the fee within three months MTC are not obliged to comply with the request.

10. Complaints
If persons requesting information are dissatisfied with the way MTC has responded to a request for information, please write to the Town Clerk, Maltby Town Council, Edward Dunn Memorial Hall, Tickhill Road, Maltby, Rotherham, S66 7NQ

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing the operation of the Act, and you may raise issues with this office at any time. More information can be found on the ICO website or by writing to the Information Commissioners Officer, Whycliffe House, Water Lane, Wimslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.