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Publication scheme

Our Freedom of Information (FOI) Publication Scheme is a guide to the information that we routinely publish. It is a description of the classes of information published.

Our guiding principles outline the way in which the council should operate. We are committed within these principles to provide clear information about what we do and how we do it. We therefore welcome the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and its purpose to promote greater openness by public authorities.

The Freedom of Information Act requires us to have a publication scheme in place that is approved by the Information Commissioner. We have adopted the model publication scheme as prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner.

The scheme is a guide to the information that we routinely publish. It is not a list of actual publications (this will change as other things are published) but rather it is a description of the classes or types of information published.

The scheme commits us:

  • to proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information, including environmental information, which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below
  • to specify the information which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below
  • to proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme
  • to produce and publish the methods by which the specific information is made routinely available so that it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public
  • to review and update on a regular basis the information the authority makes available under this scheme
  • to produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information which is made proactively available
  • to make this publication scheme available to the public
  • to publish any dataset held by the authority that has been requested, and any updated versions it holds, unless the authority is satisfied that it is not appropriate to do so; to publish the dataset, where reasonably practicable, in an electronic form that is capable of re-use; and, if any information in the dataset is a relevant copyright work and the public authority is the only owner, to make the information available for re-use under a specified licence. The term ‘dataset’ is defined in section 11(5) of the Freedom of Information Act. The terms ‘relevant copyright work’ and ‘specified licence’ are defined in section 19(8) of that Act

Classes of information

The publication scheme specifies seven classes of information, under which most information we hold falls into. These are:

  1. who we are and what we do
  2. what we spend and how we spend it
  3. what our priorities are and how we are doing
  4. how we make decisions
  5. our policies and procedures
  6. lists and registers
  7. services provided by the council

How are they published?

With few exceptions our publications can be downloaded from this website. They are also available in hard copy form from our offices. The exceptions are noted in the descriptions of the different classes of information in the appendix.

The Freedom of Information Officer is responsible for maintaining the scheme on a day to day basis. If you have difficulty in finding what you are looking for, please contact us. See our Freedom of Information page for details.

How much do publications cost?

All publications on our website may be freely downloaded unless otherwise indicated. Most printed publications are available free of charge, but a charge may be made at rates decided from time to time for others.

Information that we will not publish under the scheme

A great deal of information that is held by us is personal and private to individuals. This includes our employees and former employees and we will not publish it. Individuals have rights under the Data Protection Act to seek information relating to their own circumstances. A separate application will need to be made to us under the provisions of this legislation.

Information which is exempt from disclosure or inspection under other legislation or would infringe someone else’s rights may not be published. Wherever possible we have drawn attention to those classes which may contain information which cannot be published.

The Freedom of Information Act and publication scheme does not limit other rights that people have to information.

Where can I find the publication scheme?

The publication scheme is available on our website and in our offices. The scheme and all published documents are available in the first language of the district -namely English. The Scheme is also available on request in large print or on audio-tape. If your first language is not English we can arrange for interpreters to provide the information in a range of languages. Please phone us on 01454 868009 for further information.

Individual requests for information

Following the Freedom of Information Act 2000 coming fully into force in January 2005, you are now able to make an individual request in writing for any information which has not already been published. Subject to certain exceptions we will have to tell you whether we have that information and then supply it to you. There may be a separate charge for providing this.

This part of the Act is fully retrospective which means that you may be able to obtain information from all of our records in existence. As with the publication scheme there will be some types of information that cannot be disclosed. Written requests for information can be sent by post to any council office or emailed to FreedomOfInformation@southglos.gov.uk.

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