The final phase of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force on 1 January 2005. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public bodies such as local councils.
When making a request for information the applicant will not be required to mention the Freedom of Information Act. However, the request must be made in permanent form, for instance in writing or by e-mail and must include basic contact details so that a reply can be sent. A request made by telephone will not be sufficient. It must also include enough detail to enable the council to identify the information requested.
All information not covered by an exemption will ordinarily be released to the applicant within 20 working days of receipt of the request.
Where possible the information will be supplied in the manner specified.
A fee may be charged for dealing with requests