Freedom of Information

What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOI)?

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 (the ‘Act’) gives you the right of access to “recorded” information “held” by public sector organisations, whether you are an individual or an organisation.

As a requester for recorded information, under the FOI Act you are entitled:

  • To be informed in writing whether we hold the information, as described within the request; and
  • To have the information we hold relating to the request communicated to you.

We are not required to create new information in order to comply with a request for information. Under the Act we are obliged to consider information already in existence at the time a request is received.

Requests for recorded information will be treated as a request under the FOI Act, other than:

  • Information routinely given out as part of routine business, for example:
    • Standard responses to general enquires
    • The request is asking for contact details for a member of staff
  • A request for environmental information or
  • The requesters own personal data

Contact details can be routinely obtained from our website or by contacting the Customer Services Team on:
Enquiries@tamworth.gov.uk
Tel: 01827 709709

Publication Scheme

We already make available a great deal of information through our Publication Scheme and Disclosure log. We recommend before submitting your request for information, you search through the Publication Scheme and/or Disclosure Log to see if the information you are looking for is already available on our website.

N.B. Staffordshire County Council is responsible for Education, Schools, Highways and Health & Social Services/Care, so any requests for information for these topics should be directed to them. You can do this and view their disclosure log on their website: www.staffordshire.gov.uk

I’m unable to locate what I’m looking for?

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, you can submit a request for information using one of the following formats:

A valid FOI request “must”:

  • Be in writing
  • Include your full name: (This can be individual or company however must be real name. A request made under a pseudonym will be invalid)
  • Include your address for correspondence: (This can be an email address)
  • Describe the information requested

Your request does not have to state FOI or EIR and you do not need to advise on why you want the information, however the more detail you give us, the more effective we can be in searching for the information you have requested.

Requests received through Social Media: These requests will be deemed valid where it meets the requirements of Section 8 by providing the applicant’s name, address for correspondence and a clear request for information.

EIR
Under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) you have the right to make a request for information verbally. To exercise this right you can telephone the Council's Information Governance Team on 01827 709587 and an officer will transcribe your request and confirm it in writing to you. The EIR only applies to the environmental information held by public authorities.

What happens after we receive your request?

Once your request is received, we will acknowledge your request and endeavor to respond within 20 working days from the day after the request is received.

Exemptions

There are some circumstances where we will not be able to provide the information you have requested:

  • If we do not hold the information, for example if it has been destroyed due to data retention policies, or if another public body holds it
  • If the information requested falls under an exemption of the Freedom of Information Act
  • If the cost of providing the information exceeds an appropriate limit Cost of Compliance Exceeds appropriate limit
  • If the request has been made repeatedly, or with the aim of frustrating the operations of the council

Disclosure Log

We publish a disclosure log of requests received. (Any personal data that you provide to Tamworth Borough Council will be held in line with the requirements set out within the Data Protection Act 2018 / General Data protection Regulations)

Complaints & Appeals

If you are not satisfied with the information provided or the refusal to provide information you can request an internal review.

You can do this by emailing the Information Governance Manager at freedomofinformation@tamworth.gov.uk stating the following within 2 months of receiving the authorities’ final response:

  • FOI request reference number
  • Full submission including your reasoning as to why you disagree with the exemptions / decision made in regards to the request for information

For environmental information complaints, you should make your complaint with 40 working days.

Where feasible, requests for internal review will be considered by officers who did not take part in the original processing of your request.

What happens next?

FOI Internal review requests will be acknowledged and responded to within 20 working days from the day after the request for internal review is received.

Environmental Regulation Information (EIR) requests for internal review will be acknowledged and responded to within 40 working days or sooner, where possible.

If, after this, you are still not satisfied, you can apply to the Information Commissioner for an independent review:

The Information Commissioner
Wyncliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Website: ICO.org.uk

Other complaints

If you are not satisfied with how we have serviced your request generally, you can contact us using the Council's Tell Us Policy.