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Publication Scheme

What is a Publication Scheme?

Freedom of Information The Council is required to produce a publication scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The publication scheme identifies what information we make routinely available to the public, how you can obtain it and whether there is a charge for it.

New Forest District Council's publication scheme has been designed in line with the Information Commissioner's Guidance (link below) https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1153/model-publication-scheme.pdf

This publication scheme commits New Forest District Council to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities. The information covered is included in the classes of information mentioned below, where this information is held by the Council. Additional assistance is provided to the definition of these classes in sector specific guidance manuals issued by the Information Commissioner.

The scheme commits New Forest District Council:

  • To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information, including environmental information, which is held by the Council and falls within the classifications below.
  • To specify the information which is held by the Council and falls within the classifications below.
  • To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme.
  • To produce and publish the methods by which the specific information is made routinely available so that it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public.
  • To review and update on a regular basis the information the Council makes available under this scheme.
  • To produce a schedule of any fees charges for access to information which is made proactively available.
  • To make this publication scheme available to the public.
  • To publish any dataset held by the Council that has been requested, and any updated versions it holds, unless the authority is satisfied that it is not appropriate to do so; to publish the dataset, where reasonably practicable, in an electronic form that is capable of re-use; and, if any information in the dataset is a relevant copyright work and the public authority is the only owner, to make the information available for re-use under a specified licence. The term 'dataset' is defined in section 11(5) of the Freedom of Information Act. The terms 'relevant copyright work' and 'specified licence' are defined in section 19(8) of the Act.

The Council has produced a Guide to the Publication Scheme to assist you in finding the information you require.

Classes of Information

The scheme contains the following Classes of Information:

Who we are and what we do:

This consists of organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.

What we spend and how we spend it

This class covers financial Information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.

What our priorities are and how we are doing

This class includes strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

How we make decisions

Information in this class includes policy, proposals and decisions.  It also covers decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.

Our Policies and Procedures

These are our current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.

Lists and Registers:

This class explains what information is held in registers required by law, and other lists and registers relating to functions of the authority.

The services we offer:

This class provides a description of the services offered by the Council.  It also explains what advice and guidance on services is available.  (booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases?)

The classes of information will not generally include:

· Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.

· Information in draft form.

· Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.

The method by which information published under this scheme will be made available

The Council will indicate clearly to the public what information is covered by this scheme and how it can be obtained.

Where it is within the capability of the Council, information will be provided on a website. Where it is impracticable to make information available on a website or when an individual does not wish to access the information by the website, the Council will indicate how information can be obtained by other means and provide it by those means.

In exceptional circumstances some information may be available only by viewing in person. Where this manner is specified, contact details will be provided. An appointment to view the information will be arranged within a reasonable timescale.

Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that is legally required. Where the Council is legally required to translate any information, it will do so.

Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with this scheme.

Charges which may be made for information published under this scheme

The purpose of this scheme is to make the maximum amount of information readily available at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. Charges made by the Council for routinely published material will be justified and transparent and kept to a minimum.

Material which is published and accessed on a website will be provided free of charge.

Charges may be made for information subject to a charging regime specified by Parliament.

Charges may be made for actual disbursements incurred such as:

· Photocopying

· Postage and packaging

· the costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information

Charges may also be made for information provided under this scheme where they are legally authorised, they are in all the circumstances, including the general principles of the right of access to information held by the Council, justified and are in accordance with a published schedule or schedules of fees which are readily available to the public.

Charges may also be made for making datasets (or parts of datasets) that are relevant copyright works available for re-use. These charges will be in accordance with either regulations made under section 11B of the Freedom of Information Act or other enactments.

If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment may be requested prior to provision of the information.

Written requests

Information held by the Council that is not published under this scheme can be requested in writing, when its provision will be considered in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Updated: 17 Feb 2016
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