Freedom of Information
With effect from 1 January 2005, you have a legally enforceable
right of access to all recorded information, which public
authorities, like Kent County Council, hold.
The Act gives you two statutory rights:
- To be told in writing whether or not we hold the information
you have asked for, and if we do
- To have that information communicated to you, in the format of
log shows details of all completed requests for information
that we have received and dealt with under either the Freedom of
Information Act or the Environmental Information Regulations since
January 2005. If we have not provided some or all of the
information we were asked for, we have stated why not.
The Freedom of Information Act provides a statutory right of
access to ALL recorded information that we hold, subject to certain
exemptions to disclosure. Information accessible to you could be on
any topic, including information about other organisations that we
do business with. You have access to information held in any format
or media; for example paper, microfilm, microfiche, photos, video,
audio, email, computer files, post-it notes, with the exception of
people's memories! The Act is retrospective so you also have a
right of access to information created received or recorded prior
to 2000 when the Act became law.
Individuals of any age or nationality, as well as corporate
bodies or pressure groups can request information under the
There is some information that won't be given on request. Some
of our important documents have a set retention period; this means
they must be kept for a certain period of time, usually to comply
with statute, before they are destroyed. If we have disposed of the
document in accordance with our retention schedule, we cannot be
expected to provide it. We do, however, have a duty to tell you why
the information you've asked for is not available.
In the near future, we hope to have information on this website
about our records management policy and processes and our retention
There are other reasons that we may not be able to give you the
information you have asked for. This could be the result of an
exemption to disclosure applying: for example if releasing the
information you have requested would breach the Data Protection
Act, would prejudice an ongoing court case or would hinder the
prevention or detection of crime. However, we have a duty to tell
you if we have withheld information and which one of the 23
exemptions was used as justification.
Making a request for information
To make a request for information you must put your application
in writing (which also includes email and fax).
- You must state your name and an address for correspondence
- You must state clearly what information is required and how you
would prefer to receive this information (for example a summary of
the information, a copy of the documents that the information comes
from, or a visit to inspect records in person)
- You do not have to mention the Freedom of Information Act or
why you want the information, but it would help us to help you if
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post: Information Resilience &
Transparency Team, Kent County Council, Room 2.71, Sessions House,
County Hall, Maidstone. ME14 1XQ.
By fax: 01622 696075
Once you have made your request we must respond as soon as
possible; completing your request no later than 20 working days
after we have received it.
If your request, however, is unclear, we will contact you to
clarify exactly what information you are looking for. The 20
working days begins from the date you confirm details of your
In some instances, a charge may apply for supplying the
information you want. If so, we will advise you of the cost and you
will need to pay this before we proceed with your request. The
majority of the information detailed in the
publication scheme is available free of charge, but if it is
not, details of costs are provided. If you are asking for any other
information (not listed on the publication scheme), you may be
required to contribute towards specific costs such as photocopying,
translation services, or postage. If the costs of us looking for
the information you want, extrapolating and collating it exceed
£450 (which is equivalent to 18 hours @ £25 per hour), we do not
have to comply with your request.
If you refuse to pay then we are not obliged to supply you with
the information you've asked for.
We can refuse to supply you with the information you've asked
- It would cost us more than £450 to locate and extract the
information you've asked for
- Or it falls under one of the 23 exemptions.
Either way, we must write and tell you why we are refusing to
deal with your request and which exemption applies. We will also
give you details of how you can get our decision reassessed. If
following reassessment, you are still unhappy with our response,
you can ask the Information Commissioner to review our
There is no limit to how many requests that you can make,
providing each request is different. However, if you make repeated
requests for the same information, or are obviously trying to
disrupt our operations, we do reserve the right to refuse