Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information Act 2000
Residents have a right to know what the Council is doing, how we are doing it and how you can take part.
You already have a right to access some of the information produced by the Council. This includes the right to attend most meetings, with access to most of the agendas, reports, minutes and background papers of these meetings and our forward plan.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 extends your rights and requires us to produce a Publication Scheme detailing the information that we publish regularly. Your rights to Council information are set out in Part 4 section D of the Council's Constitution.
The Act came into force on 1st January 2005.
We will use this page to keep you informed of progress.
What is a publication scheme?
Our Publication Scheme has been developed so that members of the public can become more aware of the information that is readily available to them without the need to make a formal request for access and to assist the public in accessing that information by providing details of contact points.
It is not a full list of all our publications, because these change all the time. We are developing lists of publications currently available under each heading to make the scheme even easier to understand.
The Information Commissioner approved our Publication Scheme on 28 February 2003.
What about information that isn't listed in the publication scheme?
From January 2005 you have a general right of access to different types of information held by the Council. This right covers information recorded in any form and obtained from any source, not just documents we publish.
Access requests must be made in writing and you may have to pay a fee. The government has set guidance on the fees and costs the Council can charge for locating and retrieving the information plus the actual cost of photocopying and postage.
Public authorities like the Council must respond to requests within 20 working days confirming:
- whether any information is held
- a copy of all information that can be released
- the exemptions applying to any information withheld
To make a request for information, you can either:
a. Complete the electronic request form here
Request for information
b. Download and complete the following FOI Information Request Application Form
Please return your completed application to:
Business Support Team Leader
North Yorkshire DL10 4JX Tel: (01748) 829100
Our Freedom of Information Policy
explains how we will deal with requests for information. You can download a copy of the Freedom of Information Policy here.
Why can the Council withhold information?
The Act is one of a number of national policies to modernise government and encourage more open and accountable decision making but there are some exemptions to the right of access.
The Council can withhold information like details of legal proceedings, information provided in confidence or personal information covered by the Data Protection Act 1998.
We do not have to provide information if the cost of locating and retrieving it is £450 or more and we can refuse requests from anyone who repeatedly asks for the same or similar information.
If you have any questions about your rights under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 please contact the Council's Business Support Team Leader at:
Richmondshire District Council
FAO: Business Support Team Leader
DL10 4JX Tel: (01748) 829100
You can also get information leaflets and advice from:
The Information Commissioner's website at http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/ or by telephone on 01625 545745.
The Lord Chancellor's Department website at http://www.dca.gov.uk/
The Campaign for Freedom of Information's website at http://www.dca.gov.uk/