Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) came into force in January 2005. The Act covers all recorded information held by a public authority. It is not limited to official documents and includes for example, drafts, emails, notes, recordings of telephone conversations and CCTV recordings.
Data protection legislation (including the UK General Data Protection Regulation) covers individuals’ right in respect of their personal data. Personal information is exempt from disclosure under section 40 of the Act and requests for access to personal information of which the requester is the subject will be handled as a request under data protection legislation. Should a request of this type be received this will be explained to the requester.
Requests for Information
CCW is committed to being transparent about the information it holds. We aim to provide a timely response to all reasonable requests for information and within the statutory 20 working day timescale.
Requests for information should be made in writing to CCW’s Information Team. We have a dedicated e-mail inbox for information requests [email protected] or alternatively you can write to:
Freedom of Information Requests
23 Stephenson Street
When responding to requests for information public bodies have two duties:
- to tell the applicant whether information falling within the scope of the request is held; and
- to provide that information unless one of the exemptions available under the act can be engaged.
Where CCW holds information that has been requested the information will be released unless:
- an exemption to disclosure under Part II of the Act applies;
- it would cost too much to comply with the request;
- the request is considered vexatious; and/or
- the request is repeated.
There are two types of exemption available under the Act:
If an absolute exemption applies, then CCW does not need to release the information.
In order to engage a qualified exemption CCW is required to apply the public interest test to decide whether to release the information. In considering the public interest, CCW will take into account:
- whether the public interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny that information is held outweighs the public interest in disclosing whether CCW holds the information; and/or
- whether the public interest in withholding information outweighs the public interest in releasing it.
Where a public interest test is required CCW will apply it separately to each piece of potentially exempt information. If any exemption is engaged in relation to information held by CCW the reasons for its engagement will be set out clearly in our response.
CCW is not obliged to respond to requests where the estimated cost of complying would exceed the cost limit of £450. Based on the standard hourly rate of £25 specified in the FOIA Fees Regulations, the maximum amount of staff time spent finding, retrieving, collating and editing before exceeding the £450 cost limit is 18 hours. In cases where a request is likely to exceed the cost limit CCW will explain this to the requester and suggest ways that the request could be brought within the limit.
Our Information team in manages all FOI requests. If the request does not contain enough information for us to process it then we will contact the applicant to obtain further details. All responses will:
- confirm if CCW holds the information requested,
- include a copy of the requested information, unless one of the exemptions available under the Act applies to the requested information;
- an explanation of an exemptions applied;
- details of the applicants right for a review of the handing of the request; and
- details of the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Requests for a review of the handling of a request will be carried out by a senior member of CCW staff that has not been involved with the initial response. The internal review will examine the manner in which the request was dealt and any exemptions that had been applied; the reviewer is empowered to either uphold or overturn the original decision. Requests for an internal review should be made within 2 months of the date of the response to the requester. CCW aims to deal with internal reviews within 20 working days of their receipt. If it becomes clear at any stage of the internal review that it will not be able to meet this target, the requester will be notified.
The Act requires all public authorities to produce a publication scheme. CCW’s publication scheme sets out the various classes of information available, how consumers can access that information, and if there is a charge for providing it.
Advice and assistance
CCW has a duty, so far as it is reasonable to do so, to give advice and assistance to anyone who has made a request or is considering making one.
This policy will be reviewed as necessary but at least once in every three year period.