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Freedom of Information requests

0 votes
Recently our local Council has taken to asking residents to submit a FOI for enquiries raised. The website is getting sparser, even the Public Participation Policy is not there. I feel that this is a bit extreme, doesn’t look good to outsiders and costly in officer time. Yes it does root out some trivia but in many Councils the same or similar information can be found freely on the website. As been suggested before, I’ve asked a friendly Councillor but they tend not to reply.
asked by (400 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Are they complying with the requirements of the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities? This is a legal requirement for councils with a turnover of under £25,000 and recommended practice (although unenforceable) for councils with a turnover of between £25,000 and £200,000.

Have they adopted the ICO Model Publication Scheme? The Freedom of Information Act requires every public authority to have a publication scheme, approved by the Information Commissioner's Office and to publish information covered by the scheme.
answered by (11.9k points)
+1 vote
It is effectively an admission that the publication scheme (if there is one) is unfit for purpose.. No doubt they will say how busy the Clerk is is dealing with  the large numbers of  residents enquiries and how this represents a huge commitment to residents.  But it seems they are trying to create a need for something where there is no need for it!
answered by (9k points)
It does look lacking. The budget is on the Agenda tonight. Is it now the norm for members of the Public to have to print and bring along their own copy of the Agenda etc? There was no hard copies available on the night last time I went as I was told that they are available on line.
Our Parish Council does not provide hard copies of the agenda either.
Parish & Town Councils are supposed to Publish all the meeting papers which could amount to numerous pages as well as the actual agenda. .  I think  publishing on line is acceptable these days and that hard copies do not need to be made available by default.

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