Freedom of Information
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you have the right to request recorded information from Ceredigion County Council. The act was designed to ensure that public bodies, such as Ceredigion County Council, operate in an open and transparent manner.
What is a Freedom of Information Request?
A Freedom of Information Request is made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Put simply, it is a request to Ceredigion County Council for any recorded information that is held.
What is recorded information?
The Information Commissioner’s Office defines recorded information as any feature or characteristic of a document that imparts information or knowledge to the viewer. As such, recorded information does not simply refer to text on a page, it may include a number of factors relevant for contextualising that information. The ICO lists some of these factors, including Design and Layout; Logos and Letterheads; Language; Emphasised wording; Handwriting; Annotations and headers and footers; Images; Email transmission details.
Who can make a FOI Request?
Anyone can make an FOI request to Ceredigion County Council. However you must provide your full legal name and a contact address (this may be an email address) for the request to be valid.
Does making a FOI Request cost any money?
No. There is no charge to make a Freedom of Information request or to receive a response. In certain circumstances your request may go over the prescribed cost limit for a request, however if this is the case we will contact you to advise you on how best to limit your request to put you below the limit. Please note, however, that some information does cost money to receive. Please visit the Council’s Fees & Charges Section for more information.
What happens once I make a request?
As soon as you make a request you will receive an automated reply informing you that our mailbox has received your request. Within 2 working days from the date of your request you will receive a formal acknowledgement from a member of our team. This formal acknowledgement will tell you if your request constitutes a FOI request and the date on which you can expect a reply. 20 working days from the date of your request you will receive a response.
Is there a form available to fill out?
In order to make the process as easy as possible, we have created a Welsh language and English Language form which you may use to make your request.
Is there anything else I should know before making an FOI Request?
You may wish to check whether this information has already been request from Ceredigion County Council. Checking for this information means that you will not have to wait up to 20 working days for a response to your request.
Tip: You may wish to search www.whatdotheyknow.com to see if Ceredigion County Council has received and responded to a request similar to yours.
How can I make a FOI Request to Ceredigion County Council?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can write to us at:
Complaints & Freedom of Information Team
|Clearly state that you are making your request under the Freedom of Information Act/Environmental Information Regulations.||Bury your request in amongst lengthy correspondence on other matters or underlying complaints.|
|Include your name, address and other contact details in the request.||Use threatening or offensive language or use the request to make personal attacks on employees.|
|Send your request directly to the Council’s Freedom of Information team, details of which can be found on this page. This will ensure that your request is acknowledged and processed promptly.||Send ‘catch-all’ requests for information (such as ‘please provide me with everything you hold about ‘x’) when you aren’t sure what specific documents to ask for. Alternatively, ask the Council’s Freedom of Information Team for some advice and assistance in framing your request.|
|Check the publication scheme in case the information is already available.||Make assumptions about how the Council organises its information or tell them how to search for the information you want.|
|Give the Council ample opportunity to address any previous requests you have made before submitting new ones.||Use your request to reopen grievances which have already been fully addressed by the Council, or subjected to independent investigation with no evidence of wrongdoing being found.|
|Be as specific as possible about the information you want rather than asking general questions. Try to include details such as dates and names whenever you can. It may also assist the Council in identifying the information if you explain the purpose behind your request.||Deliberately ‘fish’ for information by submitting a very broad or random requests in the hope it will catch something noteworthy or otherwise useful. Requests should be directed towards obtaining information on a particular issue, rather than relying on pot luck to see if anything of interest is revealed.|
|Use straightforward, polite language. Avoid basing your request or question on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints or comments.||Make repeat requests unless circumstances, or the information itself, have changed to the extent that there are justifiable grounds to ask for the information again.|
|Specify whether you have any preferences as to how you would like to receive the information, for example if you would prefer a paper copy or to receive an email.||Disrupt the Council by the sheer weight of requests or the volume of information requested. Whether you are acting alone or in concert with others, this is a clear misuse of the Act and an abuse of your ‘right to know’.|
|Submit frivolous or trivial requests. Please be aware that processing any information request involves some cost to the public purse.|
What if I’m not happy with the Council’s response?
If you are unhappy with a decision made for an FOI or EIR request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of the Council’s response to your request.
You can contact us by email: email@example.com
Or write to:
Complaints & Freedom of Information Team
We endeavour to complete the review in 20 working days. The Officer responsible for carrying out internal reviews is Mr Alun Williams, Corporate Lead Officer for Policy and Performance, and he can either instruct the FOI team to carry out further work where necessary or decide that what has already been done is satisfactory. In either case, you will be informed of the decision in writing.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner’s Office can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office – Wales
2nd Floor, Churchill House