Freedom of information policy

Introduction

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) provides an over-arching right of access to all information held by a local authority, over and above existing statutes relating to specific service areas where authorities hold a large range of information.

Individuals already have the right of access to information under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s (WHBC) Data Protection policy maintains the confidentiality of personal data held or processed either electronically or manually to increase access given to individuals to information relating to them. The FOIA extends that right to allow access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. The FOIA allows access to information regardless of when that information was created or how long it has been held. It also sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities.

WHBC maintains a Publication Scheme and complies with requests for information unless an exemption applies.

Other relevant policies that should be read in conjunction with this policy are:

  • The Council’s ICT Strategy
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Information & Records Management Policy