Freedom of Information Act Policy

– reviewed March 2010

POLICY

Great Linford Parish Council [GLPC] will make available upon request any published information it holds, or the applicant will be told how to access the information where the information is already reasonably accessible.

PROCEEDURES

All requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 [“the Act”] will be dealt with the Parish Manager [PM]. The PM will first determine if a request for information might be subject to an absolute or qualified exemption.

Provided the information is not subject to an exemption, the applicant will be told how to access the information, where the information is already reasonably accessible, or it will be provided to the applicant by the PM within 20 working days of the request being received. Charges for copying are as per the schedule
If the PM believes that a request is subject to an exemption, the request will be referred for consideration to next meeting of GLPC, who will decide whether the exemption should apply or, in the case of a qualified exemption, the information should be disclosed. The applicant will be informed that a referral to GLPC has been made

DEFINITIONS

1. Absolute exemptions
• Information will not be disclosed by GLPC and the following absolute exemptions under “the Act” will be made by GLPC if the information requested: –
• Forms part of a court record.
• Has been provided in confidence.
• Such disclosure would be prohibited by law.
• It is incompatible with any European Community obligation.
• If the request is for personal information held by GLPC about the applicant or a third-party. In this case the request will be processed as a request made under the Data Protection Act 1998.
• Relates to the personal lives of Councillors.
• Relates to the personal lives of employees of GLPC including home addresses, disciplinary matters and actual salary.

2. Qualified exemptions
• If the information requested is subject to one of the qualified exemptions under the “the Act”,
• GLPC will determine if it would best serve the public interest to disclose or withhold the information. Qualified exemptions would include: –
i. Health and Safety issues which might directly affect an individual’s safety, physical or mental health.
ii. Legal professional privilege.
iii. Information prejudicial to a trade secret or the commercial interest of any party.
iv. Any other qualified exemption within the “the Act”.

CONSULTATION WITH THIRD PARTIES

1. Where information has been supplied to GLPC by Contractors or third parties [the parties] GLPC will consult with the parties who will be asked for their views on disclosure where: –
a. There may be doubt about a likely breach of confidence, which may be subject to litigation by the parties.
b. Where a potential breach of confidentiality may occur between GLPC and the parties if the information were to be released.
c. Where the information may be prejudicial to a trade secret or the commercial interest of the parties.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

If an applicant is dissatisfied with manner in which a decision has been handled or made by the PM, to a request for information under “the Act”, a complaint can be made to GLPC who will respond within 28 working days of the complaint being received.

This Freedom of Information Policy was adopted by GLPC on 17th May 2005 and reviewed on
16th March 2010

by Chair Cecil Macaulay

Information available from Great Linford Parish Council under the model publication scheme
Information to be published How the information can be obtained Cost (as per detailed schedule)
Class1 – Who we are and what we do (Organisational information, structures, locations and contacts) This will be current information only

Who’s who on the Council and its Committees

Contact details for Parish Clerk and Council members (named contacts where possible with telephone number and email address (if used))

Contact details for Parish Clerk and Council members (named contacts where possible with telephone number and email address (if used)) Website / hard copy
Location of main Council office and accessibility details Website / hard copy
Staffing structure Website / hard copy
Class 2 – What we spend and how we spend it
(Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, procurement, contracts and financial audit) Current and previous financial year as a minimum

Annual return form and report by auditor Hard copy
Finalised budget Hard copy
Precept Hard copy
Borrowing Approval letter Not applicable
Financial Standing Orders and Regulations Hard copy
Grants given and received Hard copy
List of current contracts awarded and value of contract Hard copy
Members’ allowances and expenses Not applicable
Class 3 – What our priorities are and how we are doing
(Strategies and plans, performance indicators, audits, inspections and reviews)

Parish Plan (current and previous year as a minimum) Being formulated
Annual Report to Parish or Community Meeting (current and previous year as a minimum) Website / hard copy
Quality status Not applicable
Local charters drawn up in accordance with DCLG guidelines Not applicable
Class 4 – How we make decisions
(Decision making processes and records of decisions) Current and previous council year as a minimum

Timetable of meetings (Council, any committee/sub-committee meetings and parish meetings) Website / hard copy
Agendas of meetings (as above) Website / hard copy
Minutes of meetings (as above) – nb this will exclude information that is properly regarded as private to the meeting. Website / hard copy
Reports presented to council meetings – nb this will exclude information that is properly regarded as private to the meeting. Website / hard copy
Responses to consultation papers Hard copy
Responses to planning applications Hard copy
Bye-laws Not applicable
Class 5 – Our policies and procedures
(Current written protocols, policies and procedures for delivering our services and responsibilities) Current information only

Policies and procedures for the conduct of council business:

Procedural standing orders
Committee and sub-committee terms of reference
Delegated authority in respect of officers
Code of Conduct
Policy statements

Hard copy
Hard copy
Not applicable
Hard copy
Hard copy
Policies and procedures for the provision of services and about the employment of staff:

Internal policies relating to the delivery of services
Equality and diversity policy
Health and safety policy
Recruitment policies (including current vacancies)
Policies and procedures for handling requests for information
Complaints procedures (including those covering requests for information and operating the publication scheme)

Hard copy

Information security policy
Records management policies (records retention, destruction and archive)
Data protection policies
Schedule of charges )for the publication of information) Website /Hard copy
Class 6 – Lists and Registers Currently maintained lists and registers only
hard copy or website; some information may only be available by inspection)
Any publicly available register or list (if any are held this should be publicised; in most circumstances existing access provisions will suffice) Not applicable
Assets Register Hard copy
Disclosure log (indicating the information that has been provided in response to requests; recommended as good practice, but may not be held by parish councils) Not applicable
Register of members’ interests Held by principle authority
Register of gifts and hospitality Held by principle authority
Class 7 – The services we offer
(Information about the services we offer, including leaflets, guidance and newsletters produced for the public and businesses) Current information only (hard copy or website; some information may only be available by inspection)
Allotments Hard copy
Burial grounds and closed churchyards Not applicable
Community centres and village halls Hard copy
Parks, playing fields and recreational facilities Hard copy
Seating, litter bins, clocks, memorials and lighting Not applicable
Bus shelters Not applicable
Markets Not applicable
Public conveniences Not applicable
Agency agreements Hard copy
A summary of services for which the council is entitled to recover a fee, together with those fees (e.g. burial fees) Not applicable

Additional Information
This will provide Councils with the opportunity to publish information that is not itemised in the lists above
Not applicable

Contact details:

Parish Manager, Great Linford Parish Council, Neath Hill Local, MK14 6JY 01908 606613
parish.manager@great-linford .gov.uk

SCHEDULE OF CHARGES

This describes how the charges have been arrived at and should be published as part of the guide.

TYPE OF CHARGE DESCRIPTION BASIS OF CHARGE

Disbursement cost Photocopying @ 5p per sheet (black & white) Actual cost *
Postage Actual cost of Royal Mail large 2nd class

Statutory Fee In accordance with the FOI 2000

Other