Update - April 2020 - COVID-19
As you are aware we are experiencing a National Emergency situation and the Council is now focused solely on minimising the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our local communities. Bath and North East Somerset Council has indeed formally declared the current situation a major incident in accordance with the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act and as a result, all Council resources are now prioritised only on business-critical activity to protect the most vulnerable.
In addition, please note that the Information Governance Team has delayed access to hard copy letters. As a result, we recommend that any Subject Access Requests, Freedom of Information Act Requests/Environmental Information Requests or Data Breach Reports are only sent to us electronically.
Therefore in terms of responding to your request, please note that almost all Council staff are no longer in the office and are working remotely, either with limited access to information, or in some cases self-isolating, with ongoing impacts on availability, capacity and officer time, across all services.
We are therefore unable to respond to any request made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), within the 20 working day time limit, at this time. Instead, all FOIA/EIR requests whether existing or new, have been paused for a minimum of 3 weeks whilst the national lockdown is in place (until Monday 13th April) and the Council realigns its resources to protect the most vulnerable. Responses to requests made under the Data Protection Act are also very likely to face delays of a similar length of time.
We apologise for any delay that may occur in responding to these types of requests but are sure you will understand the reasons why. We will keep this position under constant review as the national position evolves. Exceptions to this will only be where the information is easily obtainable and we can do this safely. General queries can still be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as soon as we are able.
Further information on council service changes resulting from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on our website at the following link: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/coronavirus
Bath and North East Somerset Council supports the objectives of increasing openness, accountability and transparency in the public sector.
Since the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act in January 2005, the Council has been committed to a proactive approach regarding access to information.
On the 25th of May 2018, Parliament enacted the Data Protection Act 2018 which is built on the European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Making a Freedom of Information Request
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives any member of the public the right to access information held by the Council. You can make a FOIA request by emailing email@example.com or by using our online form - please find a link to this page in the 'Links' section.
Making a subject access request
You have the right to make a request to see what information the Council holds about you. This is called a Subject Access Request (SAR). You can make a subject access request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by using our online form - please find a link to this page in the 'Links' section.
You will need to provide evidence of your identity, so we will contact you to facilitate this.
What we hold
The Council is responsible for a wide range of local functions that affect the everyday lives of residents. Information held by the Council is therefore of great relevance and interest to the public.
A list of the information regularly made available by the Council to the public can be found in our Publication Scheme.
Your information rights
There are now numerous pieces of legislation governing your rights of access to information held by the Council. These include but are not limited to:
For further information about the Council’s position on access to information, please contact the Information Compliance Manager on:
01225 477961 for Freedom of Information & Environmental Information Regulation matters; or
01225 396872 for Data Protection & other information compliance matters
There is also guidance available from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
Information Governance and other services are provided to the Council by One West