Three Rivers gives full support to Freedom of Information Act
30th December 2004
Three Rivers District Council has given its full support to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which comes into force on 1 January 2005. Under the Act, anybody may request information from a public authority which has functions in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. This will include Three Rivers District Council and other public bodies in the district.
The Act gives people across the UK the right to be told whether or not a public authority holds particular information and to have that information provided to them. This is usually required to be done within 20 days and is subject to the information being in the public interest. Requests must be made in writing and be as clear and specific as possible.
Among the public authorities the new Act will apply to are:
- Government departments
- NHS Trusts
- Local authorities
- The police and fire services
Speaking just before the Act came into force on New Year's Day, Council Leader Ann Shaw, said:
"It is important that people know about this new legislation. Three Rivers District Council and other local public authorities exist to serve the public so we must be transparent and accountable."
"People are also welcome to attend our public meetings, including the Executive Committee, the Standards Committee and Development Control Committee, as well as Local Area Forums across the district. We also provide a website, the tri-annual residents' magazine Three Rivers Times and the customer services centre to help keep local people informed."
More information on the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is available by calling 020 7210 8034, visiting www.ico.org or by contacting Three Rivers District Council 01923 776611. More details can also be found here.
The Data Protection Act 1998, which provides certain rights of access to personal information about individuals held by public bodies, is unaffected by the Freedom of Information Act and remains in force.