Requests for Information
Access to information held by the Council can be obtained through two main regimes; Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
If you require access to information about yourself, this is regulated under the Data Protection Act 1998. Brief details of the three pieces of legislation can be found below.
Access to Information regimes, both under Freedom of Information and the Environmental Information Regulations, provide a general right to access information held by Authorities, however creating new information or giving an opinion or judgement that is not already in existence would be outside the ambit of these regimes.
Please note that the provision of information under access legislation does not confer any automatic right to re-use information provided. Accordingly if it is, your intention to re-use the information you would need to make an application to this Council under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
: Access to information legislation is not designed to address grievances with the authority. Other channels are available for this. Please see the Councils Corporate Complaints Policy.
Requests for information to this Council should be made to:
The FoI Unit
Vale of Glamorgan Council
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoI)
This provides the public with a general right of access to recorded information held by public authorities.
How to make an FOI request:
Make a request in writing via email or post
clearly stating the information you would like. If the information is held, this will be provided within 20 working days*, unless the information is exempt from disclosure.
If the information you have requested is exempt from disclosure, you will be notified of this in writing with an explanation of the exemption.
The council may make a charge for the information, such as photocopying documents and postage.
A number of exemptions exist in the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations which will prevent us from disclosing the information. An example of information that would be exempt from disclosure includes personal information.
Much of the information held by the council is reported to Cabinet or Scrutiny Committees, for example Planning, Social Care, Housing. This information is already in the public domain via the minutes published on the Councils website. To avoid waiting for information via an FOI request, you may wish to check the Vale of Glamorgan Councils website.
Access to Information regimes, both under FOI and the Environmental Information Regulations, provide a general right to access information held by Authorities, however creating new information or giving an opinion or judgement that is not already would be outside the ambit of these regimes.
*The 20 working day time frame for the council to respond to a request may be extended where necessary in accordance to the Freedom of Information Act to consider the public interest test in disclosing the information.
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)
This provides members of the public with the right to access environmental information held by public authorities. Environmental information is broadly defined. This is treated in a similar way to a Freedom of Information request and you should submit your request in the same method as mentioned above.
Please note that the access regimes provide for a number of exceptions, which may prevent release of the information. Should you make a request we will tell you if this applies and advise you as to your right of appeal.
If the information requested contains reference to a third party then they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release the information.
You may have to pay for the information. The rules vary between the differing legislation, should you make a request we will consider this and let you know.
Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA)
This gives individuals certain rights regarding information held about them.
You may wish to make a request for certain information held by the council about yourself. This is known as a Subject Access Request.
Making a Subject Access Request:
Please make your request in writing via email or post. Please clearly state the information you would like access to. You may also wish to identify the department that you believe will hold this information.
You will need to pay a £10 fee* for processing the request. Cheques should be made payable to Vale of Glamorgan Council.
You will need to provide 2 forms of identification for yourself, such as driving license, passport, utility bill, bank statement. We are unable to release any information until identification has been provided. If you are a parent requesting information about your child, you should also provide proof of your relationship such as a birth certificate, as well as the 2 forms of identification for yourself.
The Council have 40 days to provide the information, starting from the day the fee is received.
*Fee varies for education requests
As of January 2009, all authorities will adopt a scheme which lists information under seven broad classes.
Further information on the details of the access regimes can be obtained from the Information Commissioner's Office:
Information Commissioner's Office - Wales
Second Floor, Churchill House
Further information on details of the legislation and the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 can be obtained from the:
Office of Public Sector Information