Freedom of Information

3. Publication scheme

In accordance with Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we have adopted the Information Commissioner’s Model Publication Scheme.

The Publication Scheme is our commitment to routinely publish or make available certain classes of information. The Scheme should be viewed together with our public website, by which we proactively disseminate information and which acts as our guide to information which can be readily accessed.

We have also added additional information below the scheme to assist users.

Model publication scheme

Freedom of Information Act

This model publication scheme has been prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner. It may be adopted without modification by any public authority without further approval and will be valid until further notice.

This publication scheme commits an authority 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 authority. Additional assistance is provided to the definition of these classes in sector specific guidance manuals issued by the Information Commissioner.

The scheme commits an authority:

  • To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information, including environmental information, which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below.
  • To specify the information which is held by the authority 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 authority makes available under this scheme.
  • To produce a schedule of any fees charged 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 authority 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 the terms of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, if they apply, and otherwise under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act section 19.

    The term ‘dataset’ is defined in section 11(5) of the Freedom of Information Act. The term ‘relevant copyright work’ is defined in section 19(8) of that Act.

Classes of information

Who we are and what we do

Organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.

What we spend and how we spend it

Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.

What our priorities are and how we are doing

Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

How we make decisions

Policy proposals and decisions. Decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.

Our policies and procedures

Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.

Lists and registers

Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority.

The services we offer

Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases. A description of the services offered.

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 authority 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 a public authority, 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, a public authority 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 an authority 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 authority 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 public authorities, justified and are in accordance with a published schedule or schedules of fees which is 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 the terms of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, where they apply, or with regulations made under section 11B of the Freedom of Information Act, or with other statutory powers of the public authority.

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 a public authority 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.

 Additional Information

Access to archival material held in the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies

The Information Commissioner has accepted that information held within a county archive will be made available to the public according to that archive's rules, procedures and practices. Rules for accessing material and conducting research are available from the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (the county archive for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes).

 Classes of information

Who we are and what we do

Examples:

  • Council constitution
  • Council democratic structure
  • Location and opening times of public council properties
  • Currently elected councillors’ information and contact details
  • Contact details for customer-facing departments
  • Most recent election results

 

What we spend and how we spend it

Examples:

  • Financial statements, budgets and variance reports
  • Capital programme
  • Spending reviews
  • Financial audit reports
  • The members’ allowances scheme and the allowances paid under it to councillors each year
  • Staff allowance and expenses that can be claimed
  • Procurement procedures
  • District auditor’s report

 

What our priorities are and how we are doing

Examples:

  • Annual reports
  • Strategies and business plans
  • Internal and external organisation performance reviews
  • Strategies developed in partnership with other authorities
  • Economic development action plan
  • Forward plan
  • Capital strategy
  • Statistical information produced in accordance with the council’s requirements
  • Privacy Impact assessments

 

How we make decisions

Examples:

  • Timetable of council meetings
  • Agendas, officers’ reports, background papers and minutes of council
  • committee, sub committee and standing forum meetings
  • Major policy proposals and
  • Public consultations

 

Our policies and procedures

Examples:

  • Policies and procedures for conducting council business
  • Policies and procedures for delivering our services
  • Pay policy statement
  • Customer service
  • Charging regimes and policies

 

Lists and registers

Examples:

  • Public registers and registers held as public records
  • Register of councillors’ financial and other interests
  • Commons, footpaths

 

The services we offer

Examples:

  • Details of the services the council is responsible for
  • Services for local businesses
  • Services for members of the public
  • Information for visitors to the area, events, museums, libraries and
  • archive collections
  • Advice and guidance
  • Media releases
Print entire guide

Last updated: 12 March 2019

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