Worcester City Council access to information
This section of the Worcester City Website explains our approach to obligations under three key pieces of legislation:
- The Data Protection Act 1998
- The Freedom of Information Act 2000
- The Environmental Information Regulations 2004
Making a request for information that we hold about you
The Data Protection Act 1998
The Data Protection Act is designed to ensure that we handle your data in a sensitive and secure fashion. It reinforces and codifies actions that Worcester City Council has always striven to take when dealing with other people's data. In summary, we should only use the information for the purpose you supplied it, we shouldn't keep it once we no longer need it, and we should keep it safe.
Under the terms of the Data Protection Act you can ask Worcester City Council for information held about you as an individual. In order to process the request we need as much detail as possible about the information you require. You will need to complete a ‘Subject Access Request' form and submit it with proof of your identity and a statutory £10 fee.
Making a request for information held by Worcester City Council, or that you believe may be held by Worcester City Council.
Much of the information generated by Worcester City Council is made publicly available, either through this website, in our Customer Service Centre (CSC) The Hive, or in some circumstances in other public buildings such as the Library. It is always worth checking whether the particular information you are looking for is available in any of these locations. If you need guidance please call the Customer Service Centre on (01905) 722233. Even if the information is not already publicly available the CSC may be able to connect you with an Officer who can help or give you an address to write to.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)
Under the two pieces of legislation mentioned above you have the right to ask for information held by Worcester City Council, or information that you believe may be held by us. Your first action should be to see whether the information is in our Publication Scheme, which summarises the information that we have proactively made available. If the information is included in the scheme then it is exempt from the Acts by virtue of being available elsewhere. NB. We are currently revising the current publication scheme and will publish it as soon as the work has been completed.
What is the difference between the two acts?
The overall effect to most applicants for information is largely the same. We must confirm or deny that we hold the information. If we hold the information we must supply it within 20 working days. If you have specified the format in which you would like the information we will endeavour to supply it in that format, but there is no duty on us to move the information from one format to another. If we do not hold the information but know it is held by another public body we will liaise with you and the other body to satisfy the request.
Environmental information includes the following:
- The state of the elements of the environment, such as air, water, soil, land and fauna (including human beings)
- Emissions and discharges, noise, energy, waste
- Activities likely to affect the state of the environment
- The state of human health and safety
It will be seen that information about a number of City Council activities fall under the Environmental Information Regulations
On receipt of a request we will assess the request and decide how to handle it – whether under DPA,FOI,EIR or a combination.
- A request under the Freedom of Information Act must be made in writing.
- A request under the Environmental Information Regulations need not be a written request but it would assist us to provide accurate and timely information if you were to write in.
A form is in preparation to make the process of application under FOI and EIR simpler.