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Freedom of Information requests

Make a freedom of information request

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulation 2004 gives you right of access to all information held by the Council.

Information routinely made available - publication scheme

Before making a request for information please see our publication scheme which provides a guide to the information routinely made available to the public. You can also search our website to see if the information you want is already available.

Make a FOI or an EIR request

FOI requests must be in writing. You can contact us by email: foi@sutton.gov.uk

Your request must include:

  • the name of the person requesting the information
  • an address for correspondence (preferably an email address)
  • a clear description of the information required

Your request does not have to mention the legislation, and you do not have to tell us why you want the information, but the more details you can give, the more effective we can be in providing the information you require.

What happens next?

We will acknowledge your request usually within 5 working days.

The legislation limits the amount of time that an authority has to spend meeting a request to 18 actual working hours. This is plenty of time to deal with most requests but if a request requires the collection and copying of a very large amount of information that is spread across departments, it may take more than 18 hours to provide the information.

We have a maximum of 20 working days from the day after we receive the request to provide the information. If we need to ask for any further information needed to clarify the request we will stop the clock until we have received this.

Can you refuse my request?

There are a number of reasons for refusing to provide information, including:

  • we do not hold the information
  • it will take more than 18 working hours to provide the information (we will contact you and try to narrow your requirements)
  • if an exemption applies (see below)

If any of these apply we will write to you explaining why we cannot provide the information, along with instructions on how to appeal against this decision.

Exemptions

There is some information that we cannot make publicly available without significantly disrupting the ability of the Council to deliver services, breaching privacy or confidentiality agreements, or endangering public safety. The Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations both have a list of exemptions that can be applied in these circumstances.

full list is available on the ICOs website.

If we do decide that an exemption applies we will tell you why, and where relevant, the public interest reasons for doing so. You can appeal against this decision and details of how to do this will be included in our response.

What happens if Im not happy?

If you feel that your request has not been handled well, you do not agree that the information will be exempt, or you disagree with the suggested cost of providing the information, you can request an Internal Review of the original decision. Details of how to appeal will be provided with any response to your request.

A chief officer will review your case to ensure that the officers dealing with the original request have done so in line with the requirements of the legislation. If they decide that information should not be exempt then it will be released.

If you are not satisfied with this decision you can complain to the Information Commissioner who is independent of the Council.