Freedom of Information Act

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The Publication Scheme 2008 - introduction

1.  Introduction to our Publication Scheme 

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act or FOI) became law in November 2000. It states that unless there is good reason for information to be kept confidential, anyone has the right to request any information held by public bodies. Under section 19 of the Act, Northampton Borough Council (the council), has a statutory requirement to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme that will set out:

  • The groups or classes of information held by the council
  • How the information is, or will be published
  • Whether there is a charge for this information and how much that charge will be.

In response to its statutory duty, the Council has developed this revised Publication Scheme. It was approved by the Council's Cabinet on 26th November 2008. It replaces the original Publication Scheme approved by the Information Commissioner on 7th January 2003.

As well as listing information that the Council already makes publicly available it also lists information it intends to publish either in the future or at certain times of the year. It also lists information it holds that may be disclosed subject to exemptions.

The aim of the scheme is to provide clear, accessible information for the public. For ease of use, this information is divided into seven different 'classes'. The classes are as follows:

  • Class 1.   Constitution and Democracy - who we are and how we work
  • Class 2.   Finance and Audit - what we spend and how we spend it
  • Class 3.   Priorities and Performance - what we do and how well we do it
  • Class 4.   Decision Making - how we make decisions
  • Class 5.   Strategies, Policies and Procedures
  • Class 6.   Information Asset Register - lists and registers
  • Class 7.   A to Z - services provided by the council

Information under each of these classes can be found in section 12.

The information published under this Scheme is information that is not exempt. Some classes include basic information that can be published however detailed information relating to that class must be requested as the actual information may be covered by exemptions; for example, class 6 lists the Council's main information assets but some of those information assets may be exempt from disclosure or are subject to re-use conditions.