Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. The legislation is intended to promote a culture of openness and accountability and therefore to improve your understanding of how the Council and other public bodies carry out our duties and spend public money.
Moyle District Council has adopted the Model Publication Scheme for use from January 2009 as recommended by the Information Commissioner's Office. The Model Publication Scheme sets out the Classes of Information which will be published; how and when the information will be published; and whether the information is available free or if there is a charge for it. In addition to the Model Publication Scheme, Moyle District Council has created a Definition Document. This document names the actual documents which are available under each of the classes. The classes of information as defined by the Information Commissioner’s Office are :-
- Who we are and what we do
- What we spend and how we spend it
- What our priorities are and how we are doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- Lists and registers
- The services we offer
When a request is received by Moyle District Council, we will respond to that request promptly and in all cases within 20 working days. Moyle District Council is committed to providing as much information as possible to the public but in some cases further clarification may be required. If this is the case, we will write out to you but in doing so, the response time may lengthen.
In some cases, we may not be able to provide you with the information requested. This could be because we do not hold the information or because the information is covered by an exemption. Some examples of exemption are if the information is personal data or if the information is commercially sensitive.
Moyle District Council strongly believes in openness and will try to make information available at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. There is no charge for submitting an FOI request. However, in some cases, we may have to charge a fee to cover the costs of providing the information. For example, where there are administration or photocopying costs; or for postage and packaging.
If a charge is necessary, the cost will be in line with the published list of fees which are detailed in our Charging Policy. Confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment will be requested and upon receipt of payment, the information will be supplied.
If you are not happy with how we have dealt with your request, the fee that has been charged or if you believe that we are not correct in our decision to apply an exemption and therefore withhold information then you have the right to appeal.
In the first instance, you should write to us asking us to review the decision. This review will be carried out by a Senior Manager who has not been involved in the original decision or process.
If you are still unhappy, you may complain to the Information Commissioner who is responsible for the oversight of the Freedom of Information Act. Their address is
Information Commissioner's Office – Northern Ireland
51 Adelaide Street
Belfast, BT2 8FE
Tel: 028 9026 9380
Fax: 028 9026 9388