Here to Help - Providing Access to Information
The Freedom of Information Act came into force on 1 January 2005. It means that you are entitled to ask for any information that you feel the Council holds. In practice, it will be business as usual for this Council and you will notice no difference to the way in which a request is handled in the majority of circumstances.
However, there are certain types of information that we may not be obliged to provide, such as information relating to matters of law enforcement or personal information. In particular, access to personal information is strictly controlled by the Data Protection Act 1998. To help, we have produced a Publication Scheme (pdf - 55kb) in accordance with the Act setting out the types of information we already routinely publish and how the information can be obtained.
You do not have to know about or consult the Scheme prior to requesting information from us or you may not be able to find/obtain particular information via it. In these circumstances we expect you to continue to write (by post or email) to the Council. There is generally no charge for providing the information. The Act states that we must usually comply with written requests for information that we hold within twenty working days else you will be informed of the reason for the delay and given an estimated time for completion.
Should you be dissatisfied with the way we have handled a request for information or the reasons given for refusing to provide certain information, you have the right to object. In the first instance, you should telephone us on 01372 732000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If, having followed our complaints procedure, you are still dissatisfied you may refer your complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is completely independent of the Council. Further information can be obtained at www.ico.gov.uk or by telephoning 01303 123 1113 (Information Commissioner's Helpline).
Online form for Request for Information
Download Request for Information Form (pdf - 44kb)
Environmental Information Regulations 2004
Certain requests for environmental information are more properly made under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR). These cover requests relating to, for example, the state of the elements and factors affecting the environment. The ICO has decided that the EIR also cover the information obtained via the CON29R form.
The EIR state that access to view the information should be made freely available. If copies of the information are required, a reasonable charge can be made.
The Council must respond to a request as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after receipt of a request.
There are a number of exemptions to the Council's duty to respond to a request under EIR, similar to those under FOI. In addition, the Council may refuse to comply with a request which is too general or manifestly unreasonable and the public interest in non-disclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
Data Protection Policy
The Data Protection Act 1998 is designed to protect personal data about living individuals (Data Subjects). The Act also places obligations on those organisations that process personal data (Data Controllers).
This document sets out our policy regarding data protection. The Data Protection Acts 1984 and 1998 and the EC Data Protection Directive form the background to the document. The Policy is drafted using the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Download Epsom and Ewell's Data Protection Policy
EEBC's Register Entries, held by the Information Commissioner, are as follows:
Z7075379 - Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
Z6255830 - Electoral Registrar of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council