The Freedom of Information Act requires public authorities to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme. The Publication Scheme should provide a structured list of the types of information that a public authority makes available and should explain how they are accessible. The Publication Scheme should also state the format in which the document is available and whether or not it will be provided at a charge.
The Council's original Publication Scheme was approved by the Information Commissioner in August 2005. The Council adopted a revised Scheme in line with guidance from the Information Commissioner, in December 2008.
This Publication Scheme commits the Council to making information publicly available as part of its regular business activities. The information covered by the scheme is detailed in the classes of information outlined below. More information on these classes is available from the Information Commissioner's office.
The scheme commits the Council to:
- Proactively and routinely publishing information, including environmental information, which falls in to the classes of information listed below.
- Publishing the methods by which the information falling within this scheme is made available, so that members of the public can identify and access it easily.
- Publishing any charges made for access to the information which falls within this scheme.
- Reviewing and updating, on a regular basis, the information held by the authority which falls within this scheme.
- Making this scheme available to the public.
The Publication Scheme does not cover:
- Information which is not held by the Council.
- Information whose disclosure is prevented by law, or exempt from disclosure under Access to Information legislation, including but not limited to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
- Information in draft form.
Classes of Information
Who we are and what we do
Organisational information, structures, locations and contacts
What we spend and how we spend it
Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, procurement, contracts and financial audit
What our priorities are and how we are doing
Strategies and plans, performance indicators, audits, inspections and reviews
How we make decisions
Decision making processes and records of decisions
Our policies and procedures
Current written protocols, our policies and procedures for delivering our services and responsibilities
Lists and registers
Current information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority
Services provided by the Council
Information about the services the Council provides including leaflets, guidance and newsletters
Format of information
The Council will, where possible, make the information covered by this scheme available on its website. Where it is impracticable to make information available on the website or where an individual wishes to access the information in another format, the Council will make the information available by other means.
Where information is available only by inspection in person, the Council will provide contact details so that appointments may be made, within a reasonable timescale, to view the information.
Information will be provided in the language in which it is held, or in such other language that is legally required. The Council will ensure that information will be accessible with specific provision meeting individual needs where appropriate, in line with its Corporate Equality Commitment.
The Council's obligations under disability and discrimination legislation, and any other legislation which requires information to be provided in alternative formats will be observed when providing information under this scheme.
The Council is committed to making as much information available as possible, at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. Any charges made by the Council for information falling within this scheme will be justified, transparent and kept to a minimum.
There will be no charge for information which is published and accessible via the Council website.
Charges may be made for disbursements including:
- postage and packaging
Charges may also be made for information provided under this scheme where they are justified and are in accordance with a published schedule of fees which is readily available to the public.
Where a charge is made, payment in full will be required before the provision of the information.
Access to information not available under the Publication Scheme
Information held by the Council which does not fall within this scheme may be requested in writing, and will be considered in line with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Requests should be made to:
The Information Compliance Manager, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG