Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations

This page sets out how you can make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Freedom of Information

Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 must be made in writing and include your name, postal or email address and details of the information required.

Before you make a request for information, please check whether the information is already available on our website or has already been made public.

As a Public Authority Doncaster Council is required to provide advice and assistance to people who have made or who are thinking of making a request. This will help applicants understand their rights under the Act and identify the information they want.

Response

You can either ask for a copy of the requested information or to inspect records held.

You should expect a response within 20 working days.

Exemptions

If any of the information requested is exempt from release you will be told which of the exemptions has been relied on to withhold the information and why.

Charges

Most requests are free but you might be asked to pay a small amount for photocopies and postage.

Where the cost of meeting your request is more than the legal limit (currently about 18 hours of working time or £450), we’ll advise you and give you the opportunity to narrow your request.

In other cases where we have to spend money to give you information, we may ask you to pay this amount. We will always let you know if there are any costs in meeting your request. You can then decide whether you want to go ahead with your request. If a fee is chargeable it must be paid before any information is searched for.

Environmental Information Regulations

Requests for information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 can be made in writing (including email), via telephone, in person or any other material form.

These Regulations are part of Freedom of Information legislation and give a right of access to environmental information held by public authorities. Environmental information is any information about the activities of public authorities that relate to or affect the environment.

Response

You should expect a response within 20 working days however if the request is for a large amount of information that is very complex and it would be impracticable to respond within this time, the Regulations allow the period to be extended up to 40 working days. You will be notified that we are extending the time for compliance as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after you have submitted your request.

Exceptions

Like the Freedom of Information Act, if any of the information requested is exempt from release this will be withheld using an exception under Environmental Information Regulations. You will be told which of the exceptions has been relied on to withhold the information and why.

Charges

The Environmental Information Regulations allow a public authority to charge for providing environmental information.  This fee is set at £42.50 per hour in the Council and is applied when it is likely that the information will take several hours to compile (this is usually anything over 2 hours).

If a request does incur a fee you will be notified within 20 working days. If you then wish to proceed with the request, the information will be provided as soon as is possible, within 20 working days of the payment.

Reviews

If you are not happy with the response you receive you should first complain to the Council, details of how to do this will be included in your response.

If you are still unhappy you may contact the Information Commissioners Office who will decide whether the request has been handled appropriately.

For other information about the Act, see the Information Commissioners Office

Making a Request

As set out above, the information you require may already be available by other means, however, should you wish to make a Freedom of Information or Environmental Information Regulation request, you can do so by emailing FOI@doncaster.gov.uk 

Publication Scheme

The Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations requires every public authority to adopt and maintain a publication scheme and to publish information in accordance with the scheme. The council's publication scheme is intended to be a guide to the information which we routinely publish. You can download our Publication Scheme document to find out more from the downloads and Resources section on the right.

 

Last updated: 10 February 2021 09:24:31