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09/06/2010
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This website is being reviewed and updated. Some content may no longer reflect Government policy. All content has been archived and access to key documents will continue to be possible via the archived website; meanwhile a new version of the website will be launched later in the year. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100503135839/http://www.ogc.gov.uk/index.asp

 
 

How to request information from OGC

Step 1: Check existing information sources

If you require information, as a first step we suggest that you check the following areas of our web site as it may have already been published.

News - this is where we highlight new additions to our website

Our publications are packaged together in OGC's Document Library

Pess notices are listed under Press Office

OGC's publication scheme (PDF, 246KB) - the FOI Act requires us to produce a Publication Scheme, where you will find links to various classes of information published by OGC 

Our website has a search engine which should allow you to find anything on the site

Step 2: Make an FOI request

If you have still not found what you are looking for through the existing information sources, then you should make an FOI request.

How do I make a request?

If you want a copy of information not covered by the Scheme, please complete our online form. You do not have to use this form but it will help us to deal with your request quickly.

FOI Information Request Form (PDF, 109KB) 

FOI Information Request Form (Word, 47KB)

Alternatively, you may contact the Service Desk by post, fax or e-mail. Please provide a contact name and an address for correspondence (this may be your e-mail address) and details of the information you require.

Whilst the Freedom of Information Act creates a right to request information, it also creates a number of exemptions from that right.  This allows us to withhold some information requested.

Where an exemption has been applied we will inform you which exemptions have been applied and why, unless to give this explanation would in itself reveal the exempt information. 

What happens when I make a request?

When we receive a request for information, we will acknowledge your request and aim to respond as soon as possible - generally no later than 20 working days from the date of the request.  We may not be able to reply to you within 20 working days if we are considering whether exemptions apply. In such a case we will write to you within 20 days to tell you when we estimate we will be able to provide a final response to your request.

If we are unclear from your initial request what information you are asking for, we will contact you for clarification.

If your request is very wide-ranging we may contact you to see if you can be more specific about what you are seeking.

What does it cost?

OGC"s policy is not to charge for providing information where to do so costs less than the "appropriate limit" [Note: The "appropriate limit" means such amount as may be set by the regulations], which is currently £450.

Where the cost of providing information would exceed £450, OGC will generally not provide the information.  However, we may be able to provide some of the information requested if it can be supplied within the "appropriate limit".

What if another public authority holds this information?

If we believe that another public body holds this information, we will do one of the following:

Inform you that another public authority may hold the information and provide you with the contact details: or

If we are sure which public authority holds the relevant information, transfer the request to them

How many requests am I permitted?

The Act does not specifically limit the number of requests you can make.  However, the Act allows a public authority the right to refuse any vexatious or repeated requests. 

Can I specify the form in which I receive the information?

Yes, you may ask for a copy of the information in permanent form, for the opportunity to inspect a record containing the information, or for a summary of the information.  We will comply with your request as far as it is reasonably practicable to do so.  One of the factors we will consider when deciding what is reasonably practicable is the cost of providing the information in the form requested.

If you want to know what information OGC holds about you

If you wish to obtain personal information we hold about you, you should make a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998 as this information is exempt from disclosure under the FOI regime. Please see our guidance on how to make this type of request.

Service Desk contact details

Complaints

If you feel OGC has not fulfilled its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act to provide you with the information you requested, then you may make a formal complaint.

To do this please write to or email the Service Desk, stating clearly the situation and your reason(s) for complaint. It would help us if you included your full name, postal address and phone number, the date of your request and a description of the information you were looking for, any references used, and if appropriate the name(s) of any staff who assisted you.

All complaints are managed by the Service Desk and go to the Service Desk Operations Manager within 2 working days.He or another independent member of staff will investigate the complaint and reply to you within 20 working days of receipt of your complaint.

If you are still not satisfied after the reply from OGC regarding your complaint then follow the Information Commissioner"s Complaints Scheme.