The Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) 2000 requires all public authorities to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme.
The purpose of the scheme is to let the public know what information will be automatically or routinely published by the council. In order to achieve this, the Act requires that Publication Scheme specifies sections of information. The council's Publication Scheme sets out seven classes in line with the model Publication Scheme created by Information Commissioner's Office. These classes are:
- Who we are and what we do – this includes organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance
- What we spend and how we spend it – this includes financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts
- What our priorities are and how we are doing – this includes strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews
- How we make decisions – this includes policy proposals and decisions, decision-making processes, internal criteria and procedures, records of decisions and consultations
- Our policies and procedures – this includes current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities
- Lists and registers – this includes information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority
- The services we offer – this includes information about the services the council provides including advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases
All of the information listed in the classes above can be found on our website where appropriate or at the council's offices, see the table below for further information. Information marked with a * is available in written format at the Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL
|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|
All classes are subject to statutory and other exemptions, that is, information that whilst it falls within the broad definition, will not be published. (See further "Excluded Information" below).
The publication scheme and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 do not limit in any way the other rights that you have to information, nor does it limit in any way the information that we otherwise make publicly available outside the scheme.
Therefore, planning applications, the statutory planning register, and all other statutory registers which the council is obliged to make available, will continue to be available for public inspection. Additionally we will continue publishing a large amount of material in the form of guidance or assistance about various services on a routine basis, as we always have done.
A great deal of the information that we hold is personal and/or private to individuals. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not deal with this, and will not make this information public. In other words, your private affairs and business with the council as an individual are not the subject of this publication scheme.
Excluded throughout the scheme is general correspondence sent or received by the council.
The emphasis of the scheme is to make current information readily available; as such limitations may apply as to the length of time certain documents are kept by the council.
The publication scheme will be reviewed periodically to ensure that the council is adhering to the FoI Act and is operating the scheme in accordance with good practice. The relevant information under each class will automatically be published and/or updated as required.
Publication of the scheme
Where it is practicable, the council will make the information covered by this publication scheme available on its website. Where it is impracticable to make information available on the website, information can be obtained by contacting the council by post to Data Protection Officer, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In exceptional circumstances some information may be available only by viewing in person. Where this manner is specified, contact details will be provided. An appointment to view the information will be arranged within a reasonable timescale.
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.
Language and format
Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that is legally required. Where the council is legally required to translate any information, it will do so.
This publication scheme and the documents to which it refers are written in English. Any members of the public who requires access to the scheme in other formats should contact us.
No charge will be made by the council for examining the information within this publication scheme. A charge may be made at rates determined by the council for any photocopies sought. Many documents included in this scheme, however, are subject to specific charges for the provision of copies. These are available on request.