FOI & Environmental Information
The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) give you a right of access to information held by public bodies, including the Council, unless it is subject to any of the exemptions contained in the legislation.
Under FoI we produce a Publication Scheme which sets out the categories of information we publish. In addition we have produced a Publication Guide to this scheme which tells you more about what we publish, where you can find it and details of any charges for accessing the information.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for in the Publication Guide, and would like to make an FoI request, then please either:
- Complete the online form
- Email Freedom of information team
- Write to The FoI Officer, West Oxfordshire District Council, Woodgreen, Witney OX28 1NB
The forms may be used for both Freedom of Information or Environmental Information requests. You do not have to specify which you are using for your request as we have to decide which legislation the request comes under.
We will normally respond to your request in full within 20 working days. However, it may take longer if we're unsure what information is required, or if we apply any charges. In some cases we may not supply information because it is covered by an exemption under the legislation (though this is in some cases subject to the Public Interest Test).
Please note: the supply of information under FoI or EIR does not mean that you can use it in a way that would infringe copyright, and you should get permission from the copyholder before any such use.
If you are disappointed with the response to your enquiry you can ask us to review our decision and actions. You must do this within 40 working days of our response and state why you are dissatisfied, and we will respond within 20 working days. If you are still dissatisfied or we are unable to resolve any other complaint then you can:
- contact the independent regulator, Information Commissioner
Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)
The EIRs cover a wide variety of environmental information including:
- Raw data on subjects such as air and water quality levels, industrial discharge rates, soil quality and biodiversity
- Regulatory measures affecting the environment, including policies, plans, programmes and agreements
- Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation
- Economic analyses, including cost benefit analysis on regulatory measures
- Health and safety information, for example about food and land contamination and quality of life
The main differences between requests under the EIR and the FoI Act are that:
- Requests for information can be oral as well as written.
- The Environmental Information Regulations Exemptions are narrower and fewer.
- The exemptions are all subject to the Public Interest Test
Freedom of Information Publication Scheme
The Freedom of Information Publication Scheme is a guide to the information we routinely publish or intend to publish. The scheme will assist you in requesting information from the Council, and can be inspected at our offices at Woodgreen and Elmfield, Witney.
There is also a Publication Guide which tells you more about what we publish, where you can find it and details of any charges for accessing the information.