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        Freedom of Information requests

        Make a Request for Information

        Thanet Council routinely publishes a great deal of information. You may be able to find the information you need yourself, on our website. However, if you can’t find what you want then please make a Request for Information.

        Please read the information below carefully, before submitting your request.

        The Freedom of Information Act 2000(FOI) is an Act of Parliament that increases your right of access to information held by the Council whilst balancing:

        • your right to individual privacy and
        • your right to expect good public service

        It extends your existing rights to see personal information held about you using the Data Protection Act 1998.

        Thanet District Council believes strongly in being open, and is committed to keeping as much information as possible available to the public.

        How long will you take to answer my request?

        We’ll deal with requests as quickly as possible and within the Act’s statutory timescales.

        The Council aims to respond to your request within 20 working days from the receipt of your request. However, it may be necessary to apply lawful time extensions, for example, if we need clarification from you to help us respond to your request.

         

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        Do I need to pay for the information I want? 

        Much of the information we publish is free. Sometimes there will be a charge, for instance if the information has been produced for sale, or if you want a number of paper documents.

        If the charge is not included on the Publication Scheme then we will inform you of the charge so that you can decide if you want us to go ahead with your request.

        All items that are on the Thanet District Council website can be viewed free of charge.

        Some charges are reviewed annually and may be changed. The current charge for any document in the publication scheme can be obtained from the department that holds the document.

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        What exemptions are there?

        We’ll deal with every request we receive in the spirit of the Act, though in some cases we won’t be able provide the information you ask for.

        The Act provides exemptions, which we can use if we think disclosure would cause specific, genuine harm. These may include where the information:

        • would prejudice the commercial interests of any person
        • was provided to us in confidence
        • is personal information about other individuals
        • is intended for publication in the future
        • would endanger the physical or mental health or safety of an individual or group of individuals
        • would inhibit the free and frank provision of advice or exchange of views.

        In addition, we may refuse requests if the information is reasonably accessible by other means or where the cost of locating, retrieving and extracting the information would exceed £450 – equivalent to 18 hours work calculated at a rate set by law at £25 per hour. In these cases we’ll provide advice and assistance to help you refine your request to bring it within this limit.

        If there is a reason why we can’t provide all the information that you have requested, we will explain the exemption in our response. And we’ll tell you how to appeal if you disagree with our decision.

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        What if I am not happy with the way my request has been handled?

        If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled you can make a complaint or request a review of our decision.

        You’ll need to contact us within a reasonable time frame, generally no more than 30 days after you’ve received our response to your request.

        Please write to:

        Freedom of Information Internal Review Request
        Thanet District Council
        PO Box 9, Cecil Street
        Margate
        Kent CT9 1XZ

        or E-mail your request for internal review to us at: foi@thanet.gov.uk

        Please remember to quote your case reference number in any correspondance.

        If you are not happy with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision:

        Wycliffe House
        Water Lane
        Wilmslow
        Cheshire SK9 5AF

        Tel: 01625 545700
        Fax: 01625 545510

        https://ico.org.uk

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        How do I find out more about the FOI Act or the Data Protection Act?

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