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Freedom of information

Barnet Council abides by The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). This provides for a general right of access to all types of "recorded" information held by the council, subject to a number of exemptions that are specified in the Act. Any person has the right to make a request for information under the Act.

Make a freedom of information request

Requests must include:

  • your name
  • an address for communication, whether an email address or postal address
  • a detailed description of the recorded information that you would like.

Wording a freedom of information request

  • when making your request make sure your clearly set out the information you want us to provide.
  • you have a right to request the information, regardless of how it is recorded. You don’t have to specify particular documents
  • be as clear as possible. If we are unsure of what it is you want we will have to ask for further clarification
  • try to pinpoint exactly what you want. In some cases your request may be refused if it is too expensive or time-consuming to deal with
  • if appropriate, specify a time period
  • where possible, ask us for specific information rather than using open-ended questions. ‘What or ‘how much’ will lead to better and clearer responses than ‘why’
  • we can only provide information we hold.  We are not obliged to create new information in order to answer your request
  • avoid basing your request or question on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints or comments.

Our obligations under the Freedom of Information Act

We will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your request
  • respond to your request within 20 working days from the date of receipt
  • provide you with advice and assistance in relation to your request
  • keep you informed of the progress of your request
  • tell you if a fee is applicable to your request.

We must supply the information you requested promptly but no later than 20 working days, unless

  • we require further clarification in order to locate the information you have requested
  • we apply an exemption to withhold information
  • a time extension is necessary
  • you have not paid the requested fee.

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