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Can a parish council policy circumvent a statutory requirement?

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Hello

Can the implementation of a parish council policy to limit contact with a member of the public (section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000) circumvent the requirement contained in section 8(1) of The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, i.e. prevent that member of the public from inspecting a written record, together with any background papers, at the offices of the parish council or by such other means that parish council considers appropriate?

 Any advice would be most appreciated.

 Thank you

 Sam

asked by (2.3k points)
edited by

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
Section 14 deals with vexatious FOI requests. Normally an FOI request would be sent if the information requested is not accessible by a means shown on the publication scheme.  If the information is background papers for a Council or Committee meeting, I can't see how you can deny supplying the information.  You might have to be more specific about the nature of the written record.
answered by (13.6k points)
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Many thanks Graeme_r.
+1 vote
It’s common  for Parish Councils to be secretive and the allegation that people asking for information are vexatious is often the first line of defence
The fact that they are funded by the very same people who want the information seems to escape them
My own Council demanded £1.25 to cover the cost of photocopying so I asked for an invoice and when I paid I asked for a receipt just to show how petty they were being
So I now use the website “ whatdotheyknow “ as its public so everybody can see your request and their reply plus it makes it easy to refer the matter to the ICO if you have to

Graeme is quite correct that you have to be specific in wording requests so there’s no wriggle room for evasion
answered by (1.9k points)

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