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Freedom of Information (FOI)

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

Freedom of InformationThe Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) came into force in January 2005. The Act governs and increases rights of access to information held by public authorities (other than personal information which continues to be governed by the Data Protection Act 1998).

See also:

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Obtaining information

There are two ways to obtain information under the Freedom of Information Act:

  • using the Publication Scheme: The publication scheme is to let people know what information is available as a matter of course. The information you want may be included in the publication scheme. Please see below for further information
  • by putting your request in writing: If you want some information that is not listed in our publication scheme, you will have to specifically request it in writing.

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Publication Scheme

A publication scheme is a catalogue of information that the authority already makes available to the public as a matter of course, it states what format the information can be supplied, who can provide access and whether there will be a fee to provide that information.

The publication schemes below have been produced in accordance with the Information Commissioner's Model Publication Scheme:

Every document listed in the scheme has been put into one of the eight main headings or 'classes of information', as follows:

  • who we are and what we do
  • what we spend and how we spend it
  • what our priorities are and how we are doing
  • how we make decisions
  • our policies and procedures
  • lists and registers
  • the services we offer
  • election information

If you want information that is listed in the publication scheme, you should contact the person or department shown in the right hand column of the publication scheme.

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Requesting information

Before you make an FOI request:

Please check this list of common things that are asked for. These pages may already contain the information you are seeking, please try them before you make an FOI request:
(listed alphabetically)

Making a request:

Requests must be in writing and must include your name and an address (either postal or email). Try to be as specific as possible about the information that you would like, as this will help us to respond accurately and promptly. Indicate whether you are enquiring about Adur District Council, Worthing Borough Council or both Councils. Where possible, please include a contact telephone number so that we may contact you to discuss your request if necessary.

There are three ways to submit a Freedom of Information request:

online:

or by email:

or by writing to:

  • Access to Information Team (Freedom of Information),
    Digital & Design Team,
    Adur & Worthing Councils,
    Portland House,
    44 Richmond Road,
    Worthing,
    West Sussex,
    BN11 1HS

We will do our best to provide the information within 20 working days. If we are not able to provide the information, we will tell you why.

If you require the information in a specific format, such as Braille, large type, audio or languages other than English we will do our best to assist accordingly.

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Our response

Within 20 working days of your written request, we will:

  • acknowledge your request
  • inform you whether a fee is required to provide the information requested
  • request more details, if required
  • provide you with the information (after any relevant fee has been paid) unless an exemption exists, see section below entitled refusing a request

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Costs

You will be informed, in writing if there is to be a cost for providing the information.

Some publications which are produced by the Council are for sale and will be subject to the cost shown in the cover.

If you request information that is listed in the publication scheme there will be no charge if the information is delivered by e-mail. Information provided in hard copy form will be free for the first fifty pages, then will be charged at 10p per A4 sheet for all pages above fifty (plus postage if the you are unable to collect it), to cover our costs.

If you are requesting information not contained in our publication scheme, we may charge you a fee as laid down in the Act as follows:

  • when estimated staff costs involved locating or compiling the information is under £450.00 the only charge we would make is for the cost of photocopying and postage.
  • where it is estimated that it would require more than 18 hours of staff time to locate or compile the information we may charge you for the information at the rate of £25.00 per hour plus costs for photocopying and postage. If this is the case we will write to you to obtain your confirmation whether you wish to proceed with the request.

We will charge 10p per sheet for photocopying and printing costs.

Postage will be charged at minimum second class postage costs.

We will not charge if the costs are less than £5.00.

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Refusing a request

We will inform you in writing if your request for information is refused. There are three reasons why all or part of your request may be refused:

  • it would cost too much to comply
  • the request is vexatious or repeated
  • the information is exempt from disclosure

The Act sets out a serious of statutory exemptions that we may apply if for some reason we consider it is not appropriate to disclose the information requested, for example personal information and information held for the purpose of investigating or prosecuting criminal offences. If the information is exempt we will write to you to explain why.

You can find out more details about the statutory exemptions by looking at the Information Commissioners' (ICO) website.

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Further assistance

If you have any further enquiries about your request please contact the Senior Information Officer, Access of Information Team at Adur & Worthing Councils (address as before).

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Freedom of Information Policy

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Complaints

If you are not satisfied with the response for information you have the right to an internal appeal. Please contact the Solicitor to the Council explaining what you would like reviewed to the following address

  • Solicitor to the Council,
    Adur & Worthing Councils,
    Worthing Town Hall,
    Chapel Road,
    Worthing,
    West Sussex,
    BN11 1HA

If you are not satisfied with the internal appeal, you can take your complaint to the Information Commissioner:

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