Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with certain exemptions.
One of the responsibilities under the Act for all public authorities is to produce and maintain a publication scheme which allows easy access to information not routinely available from other sources. The publication scheme must set out the types of information the authority publishes, the formats in which it is available and details of any charges for access to it. View Newtownabbey Borough Council’s publication scheme below.
All public authorities must deal with individual requests from 1 January 2005, when the general right of access to information held by public authorities came into force. Anyone is able to make a written request for information.
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What information can I request?
You can ask to see or have copies of any records we hold, unless they are covered by an exemption. There are two kinds of exemptions under the Act: absolute exemptions and non-absolute exemptions. If we claim an exemption under the Act, we must inform you within 20 working days what sort of exemption we are claiming and why it applies.
If the information requested is covered by an absolute exemption, we do not have to state whether or not we hold the information in question, nor consider disclosing it in the public interest.
If the information requested is covered by a non-absolute exemption, we have to consider the public interest in confirming or denying that the information exists and in disclosing information. We may disclose information, even if an exemption applies, if the public interest in disclosure outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exemption.
How do I make a request for information?
You should apply to us in writing by letter or email.. If you are making a request by letter please send it to:
Corporate Improvement Manager
Tel: 028 9034 0038
Fax: 028 9034 0062
Textphone: 028 9034 0109
When will I receive the information?
We will respond to requests promptly and, in all cases, within 20 working days. If we make a charge, or if we need more information from you to help us deal with your request, we may take longer then usual. If information is covered by an exemption, and we have to consider the public interest in releasing it, we will try to provide the information, wherever possible, within 20 working days. We will let you know if there will be a delay in providing the information.
When will there be a charge?
We believe strongly in openness, so we will try to keep the cost of information as low as possible. There is no charge for making a request, but in some cases we may charge a fee for letting you see the records or providing the information - see below. However, if a charge is necessary, the cost will be in line with the published list of fees. We will tell you of any charges when you make your request.
|Copy of Approval Notice||£30|
|Copy of Completion Certificate||£30|
|Copy of Comfort Letter||£30|
|Completion Letter Pre 1994 work||£30|
|Confirmation of Exemption||£30|
|Stamping of Additional Plan Set||£30|
|Confirmation of Postal Address||£30|
|Copy of Plans / per A1 sheet||£5|
We may charge disbursement costs eg. postage & photocopying. If it is decided to charge for photocopying it will be at a rate of 10p per A4 sheet.
Can I appeal against the decision?
You have rights of review and appeal against our decisions to withhold information; about the amount of fees we have decided to charge; or if you are generally dissatisfied with the way we have handled your request. These rights consist of two review processes. First, you should use our internal complaints procedure - contact the Corporate Improvement Manager. Next, if you are still not satisfied, you can appeal directly to the Office of the Information Commissioner by phoning 028 9026 9380 or writing to:
Information Commissioner’s Office - Northern Ireland
51 Adelaide Street
Note: The Commissioner will expect you to have completed our internal complaints procedure before making an appeal.