With effect from 1st January 2005 everyone has a general legal right to be provided, on request, with any information held by public authorities.
Anyone has a right to ask public authorities for information they hold.
There is no requirement to explain why the information is being requested.
A public authority must respond to a written request (letter, email or fax) for specific recorded information which they hold.
Any person who makes a request, must be informed whether the information is held and, subject to some exemptions, be supplied with that information.
The information requested, unless exempted under the Act, must be supplied within 20 working days of being requested. If this is not possible, because the request needs further clarification, the applicant will be advised when the information is available.
If the information cannot be provided, the reasons will be given to the applicant in writing.
Most of the information held is available to the Public. The Act does specify that certain information, deemed to be sensitive or harmful to the interests of the Council, may be withheld.
Harwich Town Council may charge you a fee, as laid down in Government regulations.
Whether a charge is to be made will depend on the time taken to gather the information you have requested. However, the Council will make a charge for photocopies, postage etc. in appropriate cases.
If your request is refused, we will give you a reason.
If an applicant is unhappy with the information or the service provided, any complaint should be made to the Council in writing or by email.
The opportunity to complain to the Council does not limit any rights people have to complain to the Freedom of Information Commissioner at the following address:
Tel: 01625 545745 or 08456 306060
Website – www.ico.gov.uk