The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 came into force on 1 January 2005. It gives you the right to request all types of recorded information held by public authorities. The act specifically states that any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled:
- to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request
- if so, to have that information provided to them within 20 working days.
If you wish to obtain any information from us then you should first check whether it is contained within our Publication Scheme and, if not, submit an online request
The Freedom of Information Act requires all public authorities, which includes the Derbyshire Dales District Council, to adopt and maintain a FOI publication scheme [PDF 194KB]. The scheme commits us to make information available to the public as part of our normal business activities.
The idea of the scheme is to let everyone know what information will be automatically, or routinely, published by us. The way that the Act does this is to require that the scheme specifies classes of information.
Making a request
If you can't find the information through the publication scheme, then you can make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act. Requests must be in writing, must contain a name and address for us to contact you, and must describe the information you want in enough detail that we can find it.
You can make a request by online form, email or letter. We recommend that you make your request in writing using our online form so that we are clear about what you require.
All requests that we receive under the Freedom of Information Act will be dealt with promptly, and we will aim to respond no later than 20 working days after we receive the request.
Please note that we may charge a fee for providing you with the information, to cover the costs of printing, photocopying and postage. We will let you know if a fee applies to your request.
We may not be able to release all information that is requested. There are 23 classes of exempt information defined in the Freedom of Information Act such as personal data and commercially sensitive data. If we are unable to supply you with the information, we will let you know and explain which exemption applies and why we cannot give you the information.
All personal information provided to Derbyshire Dales District Council will be held and treated in confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. It will only be used for the purpose it was given. Some personal data may be shared with trusted partners such as Serco and Chesterfield Borough Council to enable the Council to respond your request.
Common Freedom of Information requests
Below are a set of links to information for some of the more frequently asked Freedom of Information requests we receive:
If you've been unable to find the information you want from this page and would like to make a new request please complete our online request form.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I expect to receive the information?
We will make every effort to provide you with the information as soon as possible and in any event within 20 working days. The time limit can be extended by a reasonable period if a qualified exemption applies and we need additional time to consider the public interest test. We will let you know if we need to extend the time period.
Will I receive all the information I have asked for?
Not necessarily. We will not release information which we do not hold and will not deal with your request if we consider it to be repeated or vexatious.
The Act also contains a number of exemptions to protect information that should not be released into the public domain. We will not release information where one of the exemptions applies.
We will not process requests if it would cost more than £450 [equating to 2.5 days or 18 hours work].
What if I am not happy with the way my request has been dealt with?
If you are unhappy about the way your request has been dealt with or wish to object to our decision to refuse to provide you with certain information, you should complain in writing to the Chief Executive.
If you are still not happy, you can complain to the Information Commissioner.