Whilst the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA) creates a right of access to information held by Ashford Borough Council, it also sets out a number of exemptions where that right of access does not apply or is qualified.
In the majority of cases where an exemption applies to some or all of the information requested, the council will have to consider whether it must override the exemption because it is in the public interest to release the information.
This public interest test (PI) involves considering the circumstances of each particular case and the exemption that covers the information. The balance will lie in favour of disclosure, in that information may only be withheld if the public interest in withholding it is greater than the public interest in releasing it.
However, there are also some exemptions where, if the exemption applies, it is not necessary to go on to consider disclosure in the public interest. These are called the Absolute Exemptions (AE).
The attached table of exemptions are listed in order of relevance to Ashford Borough Council, with the more relevant ones being listed first.
Other acts of Parliament with provisions regarding the disclosure of information are listed below, although this list is not exhaustive:
Information which may be requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 may be subject to copyright protections. If a requester wishes to use any such information in a way that would infringe copyright, for example by making multiple copies, or issuing copies to the public, they would require a licence from the copyright holder.
These guidelines provide and overview of the exemptions that may be applies under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It also contains examples of other disclosure provisions and advice on copyright legislation. If you have any queries regarding these guidelines please contact:
Data Protection Officer
Ashford Borough Council
Kent TN23 1PL