Freedom Of Information
Freedom Of Information: Details of Lancaster City Council's freedom of information publication scheme, corporate policy and protocol, and how to make a freedom of information request.
Your right to know
The Freedom of Information Act entitles anybody to ask a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including Government departments, for any recorded information that they keep.
This is in addition to individuals' rights of access to information about themselves under the Data Protection Act 1998, and other existing legislation that already secures public access rights to much information held by a local authority.
The general right of access under the Freedom of Information Act is subject to some exemptions and the Act places a number of obligations on local authorities.
Making a Freedom of Information request
There are several ways you can make a Freedom of Information request:
- By completing our online Freedom Of Information request form
- By searching this website - please use the search box, at the top right of every page, to find information
- By using our website A to Z of services (at the top right of every page) or looking in our Publication Scheme listed below to see if the information you require has already been published
- By emailing email@example.com
- By writing to: The Information Management Officer, Information and Customer Services, Town Hall, Dalton Square, Lancaster. LA1 1PJ
Freedom of Information Publication Scheme
This model publication scheme has been prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner. It may be adopted without modification by any public authority without further approval and will be valid until further notice.
This publication scheme commits an authority to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities. The information covered is included in the classes of information mentioned below, where this information is held by the authority. Additional assistance is provided to the definition of these classes in sector specific guidance manuals issued by the Information Commissioner.
The scheme commits an authority:
- To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information, including environmental information, which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below.
- To specify the information which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below.
- To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme.
- To produce and publish the methods by which the specific information is made routinely available so that it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public.
- To review and update on a regular basis the information the authority makes available under this scheme.
- To produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information which is made proactively available.
- To make this publication scheme available to the public.
Classes of information
Who we are and what we do
Organisational structure, location and opening times of offices and contact details
What we spend and how we spend it
Financial information about projects and actual income and expenditure, procurement, contract information and audit details.
What our priorities are and how we are doing
Strategies and plans, performance indicators, audits and inspections.
How we make decisions
Decision-making processes and records of decisions.
Our policies and procedures
Current written protocols, policies and procedures for delivering our services and responsibilities.
Lists and Registers
Details of public registers
Services provided by the council
Information about what services we provide
The classes of information will not generally include:
- Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
- Information in draft form.
- Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.
Method by which information published under this scheme will be made available
The authority will indicate clearly to the public what information is covered by this scheme and how it can be obtained.
Where it is within the capability of a public authority, information will be provided on a website. Where it is impracticable to make information available on a website or when an individual does not wish to access the information by the website, a public authority will indicate how information can be obtained by other means and provide it by those means.
In exceptional circumstances some information may be available only by viewing in person. Where this manner is specified, contact details will be provided. An appointment to view the information will be arranged within a reasonable timescale.
Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that is legally required. Where an authority is legally required to translate any information, it will do so.
Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with this scheme.
Charges which may be made for Information published under this scheme
The purpose of this scheme is to make the maximum amount of information readily available at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. Charges made by the authority for routinely published material will be justified and transparent and kept to a minimum.
Material which is published and accessed on a website will be provided free of charge.
Charges may be made for information subject to a charging regime specified by Parliament.
Charges may be made for actual disbursements incurred such as:
- Postage and packaging
- Costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information
Charges may also be made for information provided under this scheme where they are legally authorised, they are in all the circumstances, including the general principles of the right of access to information held by public authorities, justified and are in accordance with a published schedule or schedules of fees which is readily available to the public.
If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment may be requested prior to provision of the information.
Information held by a public authority that is not published under this scheme can be requested in writing, when its provision will be considered in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.