Barnet Council abides by The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). This provides for a general right of access to all types of "recorded" information held by the council, subject to a number of exemptions that are specified in the Act. Any person has the right to make a request for information under the Act.
Requests must include:
- your name
- an address for communication, whether an email address or postal address
- a detailed description of the recorded information that you would like.
Wording a freedom of information request
- when making your request make sure your clearly set out the information you want us to provide.
- you have a right to request the information, regardless of how it is recorded. You don’t have to specify particular documents
- be as clear as possible. If we are unsure of what it is you want we will have to ask for further clarification
- try to pinpoint exactly what you want. In some cases your request may be refused if it is too expensive or time-consuming to deal with
- if appropriate, specify a time period
- where possible, ask us for specific information rather than using open-ended questions. ‘What or ‘how much’ will lead to better and clearer responses than ‘why’
- we can only provide information we hold. We are not obliged to create new information in order to answer your request
- avoid basing your request or question on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints or comments.
Our obligations under the Freedom of Information Act
- acknowledge receipt of your request
- respond to your request within 20 working days from the date of receipt
- provide you with advice and assistance in relation to your request
- keep you informed of the progress of your request
- tell you if a fee is applicable to your request.
We must supply the information you requested promptly but no later than 20 working days, unless
- we require further clarification in order to locate the information you have requested
- we apply an exemption to withhold information
- a time extension is necessary
- you have not paid the requested fee.