Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information (EIR)

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 2018).

See also:

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What are the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)?

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provide public access to environmental information held by public authorities. The Regulations apply only to the environmental information as defined by the Regulations.

For further information please see:

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Before you make a request: 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 scheme below has 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, please click on the link below to search our published responses to Information Requests:

Alternatively, you should contact the person or department shown in the right-hand column of the publication scheme.

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Before you make a request: FOI or EIR

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 a FOI or EIR request:

(listed alphabetically)

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Before you make a request: Requests for Information Quarterly Report

You may review our quarterly statistical report on various information requests received by the Councils by following the link below.

The report includes information on:

  • numbers and response deadlines for Subject Access Requests (SARs)
  • Data Protection Rights Requests (DPRRs)
  • Disclosure Requests by third parties (DP)
  • Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information (EIR) requests

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Requesting information

FOI requests: must be in writing and must include your name and an address (either postal or email).

EIR requests: can be in writing, but may also be submitted verbally.

What to include in your request:

  • Try to be as specific as possible about the information that you would like, this will help us to respond accurately and promptly.
  • Indicate whether you are enquiring about information from:
    • Adur District Council
    • Worthing Borough Council
    • both Councils (Adur & Worthing Councils)
  • Where possible, please include a contact telephone number so that we can contact you to discuss your request if necessary.
  • If you require the information in a specific format, such as Braille, large print, audio, or languages other than English, we will do our best to assist you. Please tell us when making your request.

There are different ways to submit Freedom of Information or Environmental Information requests:


By post, writing to:

  • Information Governance,
    Adur & Worthing Councils,
    Worthing Town Hall,
    Chapel Road,
    West Sussex,
    BN11 1HA

By email:

By phone:

  • 01903 239999 (EIR only)

Face to face:

  • by speaking to a member of staff (EIR only)

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Our response and statutory deadlines

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

Statutory deadlines and extensions:

  • FOI:
    • 20 working days
    • may be extended up to a 'reasonable' time to consider the public interest test
  • EIR:
    • 20 working days
    • may be extended up to 40 working days for complex and voluminous requests

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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 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 Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Section 12) 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.
  • Under certain circumstances we may be charging for environmental information as set out in Regulation 8 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

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

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

Both the FOI Act and the Environmental Information Regulations set out a series of statutory exemptions and exceptions that we may apply if we consider it is not appropriate to disclose the information requested. For example, this could be personal information and information held for the purpose of investigating or prosecuting criminal offences.

If the information is exempt, ie if your request for information is refused, we will write to you to explain why.

You can find out more details about the statutory exemptions on the:

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Review process

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request for information, you have the right to an internal review. Complaints and requests for review should be submitted by the applicants to the Senior Information Governance Officer (SIGO) within three (3) months of receipt of the response.

Please contact the SIGO explaining what you would like reviewed:

  • either via the link provided in our response email to you
  • or by emailing:
  • or by writing to the following address:
    • Senior Information Governance Officer,
      Adur & Worthing Councils,
      Worthing Town Hall,
      Chapel Road,
      West Sussex,
      BN11 1HA

If you are not satisfied with the internal review, you can take your complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO):

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Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information (EIR) Policy

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Need assistance with this service?
Get in touch:

Page last updated: 14 February 2023

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