The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) gives people the right to request information from public authorities. It is intended to promote a culture of openness and accountability amongst public sector bodies, and therefore facilitate better public understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions they do, and how they spend public money.
There is some confusion as to what all the different regulations cover. A brief overview of the Data Protection Act, the Environmental Information Regulations and the Freedom of Information Act is set out below.
The Data Protection Act enables individual’s access to information of which they are the subject, e.g. someone's own housing/medical records, credit reference file etc. The DPA is not restricted to information held by/on behalf of public authorities or those bodies carrying out a public function nor is its purpose limited to the right of access to information.
The Environmental Information Regulations enables people to access environmental information. They are restricted to information held by/on behalf of public authorities and those bodies carrying out a public function.
The Freedom of Information Act enables people access to information which is held by/on behalf of public authorities and those bodies carrying out a public function, and, which does not fall under either of the access regimes listed above i.e. personal information or environmental information.
The DP Act applies to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The EIRs and the FOI Act apply to England, Ireland and Wales, and public authorities from those countries who are located in Scotland.
For further information please contact the councils principal lawyer, corporate support, using the details on the right.
Crawley Borough Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud. Click on the link below for more information on data sharing between the council and other bodies, such as the Audit Commission.
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk - The Information Commissioner
www.informationcommissioner.org.uk – Data Protection pages
www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk - Fees Regulations 2004
tel: 01293 438284
email: Click to email us
Crawley Borough Council
West Sussex RH10 1UZ