Standards for England

Text size: IncreaseDecreaseReset

Freedom of information

Freedom of information: publication scheme

The Standards Board for England has adopted the model publication scheme, which has been prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner under section 20 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The intention of publication schemes is to promote openness and transparency in decision-making.

Under Section 19 of the FOIA, each public authority must adopt and maintain a publication scheme, publish information in accordance with it and from time to time review it. The publication scheme must set out the classes of information which the public authority publishes or intends to publish, the manner in which information of each class is, or is intended to be, published, and whether the material is, or is intended to be, available to the public free of charge or on payment.

Our Publication Scheme

Classes of information

The method by which information published under this scheme will be made available

Charges which may be made for information published under this scheme

Written requests

Our Guide to Information

Copyright and the Standards Board for England publication scheme

Freedom of Information

Access to personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998

More information

Complaints and appeals

Contact information

Our Publication Scheme

Our scheme commits the Standards Board for England:

  • To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information, which is held by us and falls within the classifications below.
  • To specify the information which is held by us and falls within the classifications below.
  • To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme.
  • To produce and publish the methods by which the specific information is made routinely available so that it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public.
  • To review and update on a regular basis the information the authority makes available under this scheme. 
  • To produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information which is made proactively available.
  • To make this publication scheme available to the public.

The scheme is generally not retrospective. Information will not necessarily be available through the scheme indefinitely. Information relating to a specific date will be removed after six years. They will only then be available if a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is made. Policies and similar documents will be removed when they are no longer current.

Download the model publication scheme.

top arrow top

Classes of information

Who we are and what we do.
Organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.

What we spend and how we spend it.
Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts. 

What our priorities are and how we are doing.
Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

How we make decisions.
Policy proposals and decisions. Decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.

Our policies and procedures.
Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.       

Lists and registers.
Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority.

The services we offer.
Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases.A description of the services offered.

The classes of information will not generally include:

  • Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
  • Information in draft form.
  • Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.

top arrow top

The method by which information published under this scheme will be made available

We have set out in our Guide to Information what information is covered by this scheme and how it can be obtained.

Where it is within our capability, information is provided on our website. Where it is impracticable to make information available on a website or you do not wish to access the information by the website, we will indicate in our Guide to Information how information can be obtained by other means and provide it by those means.

Generally, we provide our information in two formats: on our website (from which a printable version is available) and on paper (either in the form of simple documents printed from a desktop computer or, in some cases, printed leaflets and booklets). This is the case in relation to all classes of information except for communications videos. These will be available in DVD format.

When the information is given on our website or another website, the web address will be given and a link provided. When the link is to another website the information is the responsibility of the other organisation, not the Standards Board for England.

In exceptional circumstances some information may be available only by viewing in person. Where this manner is specified in our Guide to Information, contact details will also be provided. An appointment to view the information will be arranged within a reasonable timescale.

Information will be posted on request, following the receipt of any fee applicable. We aim to despatch the information within 5 working days and by 20 working days of receipt of your request and fee. We do not provide printouts of other people's websites.

Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that is legally required. Where we are legally required to translate any information, we will do so.

Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with this scheme.

top arrow top

Charges which may be made for information published under this scheme

The purpose of this scheme is to make the maximum amount of information readily available at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. Charges made by us for routinely published material will be justified and transparent and kept to a minimum.

Material which is published and accessed on a website will be provided free of charge. For other types of information we may charge a fee. Charges are made for actual disbursements incurred such as: 

  • photocopying
  • postage and packaging
  • the costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information

Our charges will be based on a flat fee and will apply as follows:

  • Copies of information by post - when a document which is on our website is printed and sent out we will provide a single printout free of charge. Further copies will be charged at 20 pence per page.
  • Communications videos - we will send one copy of our latest DVD, 'The Code Uncovered', to every monitoring officer and County Association secretary free of charge. There is a charge of £38 per extra copy requested.
  • For some printed publications, a charge may be applicable, as specified in the Guide to Information.  

Charges are also made for information provided under this scheme where they are legally authorised, they are in all the circumstances, including the general principles of the right of access to information held by us, justified and are in accordance with a published schedule or schedules of fees which is readily available to the public.

If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment may be requested prior to provision of the information.

top arrow top

Written requests

Information held by a public authority that is not published under this scheme can be requested in writing, when its provision will be considered in accordance with the provisions of the FOIA.

top arrow top

Our Guide to Information

This sets out:

  • what information we will routinely make available
  • how this information can be accessed,
  • and whether or not we will charge for providing it 

In order to make it easier to see what types of information we will make available, our Guide to Information is divided into the seven classes of information as detailed above.

 Click here to view our Guide to information.

 top arrow top

Copyright and the Standards Board for England publication scheme

Material on this site is protected by copyright. The copyright owner is the Standards Board for England. You may not make alterations or additions to the material on this site, or sell it or misappropriate it. Material may be downloaded or copied for personal use. However, appropriate acknowledgment of the copyright owner is required if material is re-published in any format.

top arrow top

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force on 1 January 2005. The act applies to all public authorities, which includes the Standards Board for England. It applies to all information in a recorded form; for example a written document, an email or information stored electronically.

What are my key rights?

Under the Freedom of Information Act you have the right:

  • to know whether we hold the information you request
  • and to access that information (wherever possible)

Who can make a request?

Anyone anywhere in the world can make a request. There are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live. You do not have to provide reasons why you are seeking access to the information.

How can I make a request?

You can write to the chief executive at the Standards Board for England. Alternatively, you can email us at foi@standardsforengland.gov.uk. Requests for information must be made in writing/email and you must supply your name and address when making the application. 

It will help us respond to your request more quickly if you tell us the exact information you require. If your request is unclear we may have to ask you to be more specific before we respond. If your request is too broad it may be turned down on grounds of cost. Please let us know how you would like the information sent to you and we will meet your preference where we can.

Will I have to pay for the information?

Most requests are dealt with for free. However, if we consider that the cost of your request in determining whether we hold the information or locating, retrieving and extracting the information is likely to exceed the current limit of £450, we may either turn down your request or charge you the full cost of dealing with it. If payment is required, we will carry out the search only when payment has been received.

How long will it take?

We will reply to your request promptly and in any event within 20 days working days after we receive it, unless there are specific reasons which prevent us from doing so. If we need more time to respond we will write to you to explain why and to tell you when we will provide an answer.

What if the information is refused?

If we decide we are unable to provide the information requested, we will explain why we are not releasing it. You can request a review if you are dissatisfied with the reasons given for refusal.

top arrow top

Access to personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998

You can access information about yourself under the Data Protection Act 1998. The right applies to all information the Standards Board for England holds either in computerised or paper form and which is easily identifiable as information about you.

How can I make a request for information held about me?

You can write to the chief executive at the Standards Board for England. Alternatively, you can email us at foi@standardsforengland.gov.uk.

Please note: Section 31 of the Data Protection Act provides that the Standards Board’s ethical standards officers are entitled to refuse individuals access to information about them, where such a disclosure "would be likely to prejudice the proper discharge" of any function which is conferred by or under the Local Government Act 2000.

top arrow top

More information

You can get more information about your rights under the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act from the Information Commissioner’s Office, whose contact details are provided below, and Directgov.

top arrow top

Complaints and appeals

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, with the fee we have charged or the reasons we have given for refusing to provide the information, you have the right to request a review and/or complain by writing to the Head of Strategic Relations at Standards for England. 

If you are unhappy with the response to the review you may write to the Information Commissioner at the address below. The Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing the operation of the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.

If you are still unhappy after receiving a response you can complain to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Complaints to the Parliamentary Ombudsman must be directed through your Member of Parliament.

In case of a failure to deliver information through the publication scheme, you may also appeal directly to the Information Commissioner at any time.

top arrow top

Contact information

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
Website: http://www.ico.gov.uk

top arrow top

 

 

 

Last Modified: 30 11 2011
© Standards for England 2010