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Freedom Of Information

foi_logo.jpgThe Freedom of Information Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. It sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities.

A 'public authority' is defined in the Act, and includes but is not restricted to central and local government, non-departmental public bodies, the police, the health service and schools, colleges and universities. Any person who makes a request to a public authority for information must be informed whether the public authority holds that information, and subject to exemptions, must be supplied with that information.

Requesting Information from the Council

So far as is possible, Three Rivers District Council wishes to provide members of the public with any information they need that is held by the Council. The Council is committed to promoting public understanding of its nature and activities via the systematic publication of all relevant information, and will make every effort to provide, where practical and permissible, additional information to members of the public in cases where routinely published information does not provide them with the information they require.

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000, individuals have rights in regard of obtaining information held by the Council.

Request for information relating to yourself

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 you are allowed to ask the Council for any information held about you as an individual. If you wish to make an enquiry about data that relates to yourself, then please write to:

The Data Protection Officer
Three Rivers District Council
Three Rivers House
Northway
Rickmansworth
Herts WD3 1RL

Or email: dataprotection@threerivers.gov.uk

Request for other information held by the Council

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you are allowed to ask the Council to provide you with any information held by the Council. For example, you may wish to see the minutes of a particular meeting, or obtain standard information about employee numbers.

The Council already makes public large quantities of the information that it holds, and a description of all that we publish is available in the Council's FOI Publication Scheme. Before submitting any request you are advised to check the Council's Publication Scheme to determine whether the information you require is already available.

If you wish to make an enquiry about data held by the Council and which does not seem to be already available, you can email your request for information to foi@threerivers.gov.uk or write to the Freedom of Information Officer, Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 1RL.

When we receive your request we shall instigate a search for the information you need. If we cannot determine exactly what information you require, we shall contact you as soon as possible to clarify your request. If we already publish the information you require, we shall send you details of how to find the information.  We have 20 working days to respond to any request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

In all other cases, the information you need will be located and provided to you in your preferred format. Please note however, that some information may be exempt from your access. Should that be the case, we will provide what information we can and also provide reasons why other information has not been released to you.

Please also note that we may need to charge a fee to cover the costs of our search and any copying. In these cases, the information you require will not be released to you until the fee is received.

If you need any advice on your request, please write to:

The Freedom of Information Officer
Three Rivers District Council
Three Rivers House
Northway
Rickmansworth
Herts WD3 1RL

Or email: foi@threerivers.gov.uk

If you feel that your request for information is incorrectly refused or not dealt with satisfactorily, you can submit a formal complaint by using the Council's Complaint Procedure.

Alternatively, you can make a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner.  The Information Commissioner's website which includes the process to be followed for making a complaint.