Donnington and Muxton Parish Council
Donnington and Muxton Parish Council
 
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Clerk:
Ralph Morgan
Office Address:
Turreff Hall, Turreff Avenue, Donnington, Telford, TF2 8HG
Opening Hours:
9.00am to 3.00pm Monday to Thursdsay
9.00am to 1pm Friday
Telephone:
01952 608001
Email address:
clerk@donningtonmuxtonpc.org
Website address:
www.donningtonmuxtonpc.org
 
Information Rights Policy and Publication Scheme under the FOI Act 2000
 
View document as PDF
 
Documents which are required to be in an alternative format or media e.g. Braille or alternative language, will be provided. Applicants will be informed of the time scale involved.
 

1.     Purpose and Scope of Policy

1.1   Information rights is the collective name for 3 pieces of legislation that give rights of public access to information held by public authorities:

·         General Data Protection Regulations – looks at personal information relating to individuals

·         Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 – encompasses any information held by the Council

·         Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 – information with an environmental impact

1.2  This policy is a statement of what the Council intends to do to ensure compliance with information rights legislation.

1.3  This policy will include information that the Council has produced internally as well as information that is maintained by the Council about another organisation or received from another organisation following a mutual exchange of information, e.g. a contract or partnership agreement

1.4  The Council has an agreed Data Protection Policy and therefore this policy will only cover information rights as part of the FOIA 2000 and EIR 2004.

2.            What Constitutes an Information Request

2.1  The Council will comply with all requests for information in accordance with Council procedures and appropriate legislation. It will endeavour to assist the public in exercising their ‘right to know’.

2.2  The FOIA 2000 and the EIR 2004 allow anyone to request any recorded information from the Council regardless of their age, nationality, location, motive or history, subject to a few specific exemptions and exceptions laid down by law.

2.3  Not all requests for information received by the Council have to be processed under information rights legislation. Requests may be deemed ‘Business As Usual’ (BAU) if they are concerned with relatively standard functions/operations, do not take much time to answer and it is intended to provide all the information requested, e.g. an individual requesting a copy of a leaflet, contact details, opening hours, etc. BAU requests should be dealt with by the relevant service area and not the Information Governance (IG) Team.

2.4  For an information request to be considered a valid FOI request it needs to:

·           Be written (email, letter, fax, social media posting) and legible

·           Contain the name of the applicant

·           Contain an address or email address for the reply

·           Clearly describe the information that is sought

2.5  Requests under the EIR 2004 do not need to be made in writing; however, a written record should be made of any verbal requests that are received. The other elements of 2.4 above apply to EIR.

2.6 The Council has 20 working days to respond to either an EIR or FOI request from the date it is received by the Council (not the date the IG team receives it).

2.7  Where the request is not clear then the Council can request clarification from the requester. In these cases the 20 working day ‘clock’ stops and does not restart until adequate clarification has been received.

3.            Exemptions and Exceptions

3.1   The Council will not withhold information in relation to an FOI or EIR request, unless:

·           An exemption (FOI) or exception (EIR) to disclosure applies

·           The information sought is not held

·           The request is considered to be vexatious or manifestly unreasonable

·           The request is identical or substantially similar to another request that the Council has received in the previous six months. 

3.2  Exemptions under FOI are either ‘Qualified’ or ‘Absolute’ as per the FOIA 2000. If a ‘Qualified’ exemption applies, then the Council will complete a Public Interest Test (PIT - see separate PIT Policy) to ascertain if information should be released even if the exemption applies. The PIT does not apply to ‘Absolute’ exemptions.

3.3  Under EIR all exceptions are subject to the public interest test.

4.            Processing Requests

4.1   All requests are recorded and processed by the Information Governance (IG) Team. Appendix 1 of this policy details the steps taken by IG to process a request.

4.2  Any information held by the Council in a recorded form (electronic or paper) must be considered for release. It is an offence to destroy or amend information relating to a request after the request has been received.

5.            Appeals

5.1  If a requester is unhappy with the response they receive from the Council then they can appeal directly to the Council in the first instance. All appeals are sent to the IG team and are dealt with by officers who did not directly process the initial request.

5.2  If the requester is unhappy with the outcome of their appeal they have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO – www.ico.org.uk)

Publication Scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

The purpose of this publication scheme is to be a means by which the council can make a significant amount of information available routinely.

The scheme will ensure that the council will publish more information pro-actively and help it to develop a greater culture of openness and transparency.

This authority’s key responsibilities are to represent the electorate of its areas, to take action within the legal framework and to provide a leadership focus for the community.

CORE CLASSES OF INFORMATION

  • Council Internal Practice and Procedure
  • Code of Conduct
  • Periodic Electoral Review
  • Employment Practice and Procedure
  • Planning Documents
  • Audit and Accounts

OPTIONAL DOCUMENTS WITHIN CORE CLASSES

  • Council Internal Practice and Procedures
  • Employment Practice and Procedure
  • Audit and Accounts
  • Development and implementation of Policy
  • Council Newsletters                                                                             

EXCLUSIONS

  • Core Classes of Information
  • Employment Practice and Procedure
  • Planning Documents
  • Audit and Accounts

CORE CLASSES OF INFORMATION

1. Council Internal Practice and Procedure

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Minutes of Council, Committee and sub-committee meetings (limited to last 2 year)

A4 Sheets

Website

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage.

Free

Procedural standing orders

A4 Sheets

Yes £2.50 per copy plus postage

Council's annual report to Parish meetings
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting

A4 sheets

Website

Website

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

Free

Free

Timetable of Council Meetings

A4 sheet

Website

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage.

Free

2. Code of Conduct

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Members' declaration of acceptance of office

Held by Monitoring Officer at the District Council. Copies held by Parish Council

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

Members ' register of interests

Held by Monitoring Officer at the District Council. Copies held by Parish Council

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

Register of Members' interests book

Available to view at Parish Council Office

N/A

3. Periodic Electoral Review

This is information concerning changes to the electoral arrangements for parish councils. It includes recommendations for the creation of new wards, the amendment of existing wards, proposals for the names of new wards and alterations to the number of councillors to be elected to the council.

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Information relating to the last Periodic Electoral Review of the council area

Available from Borough of Telford and Wrekin Council

 

Information relating to the Latest boundary review of the council area

Map available to view at Parish Council Office

 

4. Employment Practice and Procedure

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Terms and conditions of Employment

A4 Sheets

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

Job descriptions

A4 Sheets

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

5. Planning Documents

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Responses to planning applications

Record of comments available from Minutes.

Website

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage.

Free

6. Audit and Accounts

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Annual return form - limited to the last financial year

A4 Sheets

Yes, £1.00 plus postage

Annual statutory report by auditor (internal and external) - limited to the last financial year

Included in above

 

Receipt/payment books, receipt books of all kinds, bank statement from all accounts - limited to the last financial year

Available to view, by appointment, at Parish Council Office

N/A

Precept request - limited to the last financial year

A4 Sheets

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

VAT records - limited to the last financial year

A4 Sheets

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

Financial Standing Orders and regulations

A4 Sheets

Yes, £1.00p per copy plus postage

Assets register - includes details of areas of land owned by the council.

A4 Sheets

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

Financial risk assessments

Included in Annual Audit return

 

OPTIONAL DOCUMENTS WITHIN CORE CLASSES

1. Council Internal Practice and Procedures

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Agendas and supporting papers for council, committee and subcommittee meetings - limited in each case to the forthcoming/immediate committees

Agendas posted on Notice Boards and available to view on website.
Available in A4 format with supporting papers (unless confidential)

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

Terms of Reference for Various Committees

A4 Sheets

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

2. Employment Practice and Procedure

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Health and Safety policy

Available in A4 format.

Website

Yes, 50p per copy plus postage

Free

Equality and Diversity Policy

A4 Sheets

Website

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

Free

3. Audit and Accounts

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Loan Sanction approvals

None

 

Safety Inspection records

A4 Sheets

Yes, 10p per sheet plus postage

Register/file of members' allowances

N/A

 

4. Development and Implementation of Policy

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Complaints handling procedure

Available in A4 format

Website

Yes, 10p per sheet.

Free

5. Council Newsletters

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for supply(yes/no)

Parish Council Newsletter

Magazine format

Website

Delivered free to members of the Parish upon request.

Free

History of parish

Brief History available on website.

Free

EXCLUSIONS

Core Classes of Information

Employment Practice and Procedure

“Personal Records”, i.e. appraisals, employees specific salaries, disciplinary records, sickness records and the like by virtue of being personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Planning Documents

Copies of planning consultations, the Development Plan, Structure Plan, Local Plan, and Rights of Way/Footpath maps, all of which are available from the local planning and/or highways authority respectively.

Audit and Accounts

All commercially sensitive information e.g. Quotations and tenders, loan documentation, and insurance policies. With regards to quotations and tenders, this information is treated as confidential to ensure that the tender process is fair, i.e. if tender information is released to a third party prior to the end of the tender period, those who initially submitted tenders could be undercut and/or unfairly disadvantaged.

Documents which are required to be in an alternative format or media e.g. braille or alternative language, will be provided. Applicants will be informed of the timescale involved.



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