The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) enables you to access information of which you are the subject e.g. your own education, medical records, credit reference files, personnel file. DPA requests have a £10 charge. A valid request is answered within 40 calendar days of its receipt.
More information can be found on the Information Commissioner website.
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) enables you access to environmental information relating to air, water, land, natural sites, flora and fauna, built environment and health. It also covers all information relating to decisions or activities affecting, or likely to affect, any of these, including environmental protection and cost benefit analysis
Enquiries can be made on the telephone or in writing and you should receive a response within 20 working days. The 20 working day limit can be extended up to 40 working days if the request is for complex or high volumes of information.
More information can be found on the Defra website.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) gives you a general right of access to all types of 'recorded' information held by public authorities, including GOL. The Act has created two rights for you:
- To know if information exists
- To have it supplied on written request
What GOL must do
- Maintain a ‘Publication Scheme’, which sets out the information that we will routinely make available. The Government Office Publication Scheme currently forms part of the Publication Scheme of the Communities and Local Government.
- Tell you whether we hold the information requested and provide it or explain why it has not been provided, quoting the relevant exemption under the Act.
- Reply to you within 20 working days.
- Advise and assist you to make your request. We may contact you to clarify your request.
- Although there will be no charge for information that costs GOL less than £600 to produce, we may request a fee if this limit is exceeded. If you do not wish to pay the fee, we can refuse to supply the information.
More information about the Freedom of Information Act can be found on the Information Commissioner's website or at the Ministry of Justice’s website.
What you need to do
For any of the three types of query; FOI, EIR or DPA, put your request in writing (this includes by fax or email), or telephone if EIR, to the appropriate individual or team or you can write to the Information Manager at the address below.
- State clearly what information is required
- State your name and an address for correspondence
You may request the information in any format. However, we may take into account the cost of supplying the information before complying with your request.
If you wish for an FOI/EIR decision made by GOL to be reviewed, you will be advised of your right of appeal in a leaflet accompanying the response.