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Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information Requests

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) gives you the right to request all types of recorded information we hold, without stating your reason. This is called a Freedom of Information request.
Before making a request, please check whether the information you are looking for is already available on our online Publication Scheme. Information is published proactively to the Council’s Publication Scheme.

How to request information

All requests under the FOI Act must be made in writing and you can submit your request online, using the quick link below or by email to foi@bradford.gov.uk

Make a Freedom of Information request

Requesting information about yourself

Please do not use the FOI request form to ask for information about yourself. You have a right to request information about yourself under the Data Protection Act 2018 and you need to apply for the information in a different way. This is because different rules and regulations apply.
For more information, please see our Make a Data Protection Request page.

What we need to know

  • your full name;
  • your email or postal address for correspondence; and
  • A clear detailed description of the information you are looking for.

How you can help us deal with your request quickly

  • Set out the information you want clearly - if your request is unclear and we require further details to establish if we hold the information, we will have to ask for further clarification. The time frame will stop and will not restart until we receive the additional detail(s) from you.
  • Ask us for specific information rather than using open-ended questions - 'What or 'how much' will lead to better and clearer responses.
    If appropriate, specify a time period.
  • Be precise with what you want - your request may be refused if it is too broad to be to dealt with.
  • Avoid basing your request on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints, comments or service requests.
  • You don't have to specify the format of the information - we will send it in the format we hold it in.
  • We can only provide information we hold and we are not required to create new information in order to answer your request.

What happens next

Once you have sent us your request, we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your request;
  • respond to your request within 20 working days from the date of receipt either;
    • providing the information requested, or
    • state that the information is not held if that is the case, or
    • issue a refusal notice if an exemption applies;
  • provide you with advice and assistance in relation to your request;
  • tell you if a fee is applicable to your request.

We must supply the information in 20 working days, unless:

  • we need more information from you to find what you have asked for;
  • we need to consider the public interest test to apply an exemption to withhold information;
  • a time extension is necessary;
  • you have not paid the requested fee.

Will I receive all of the information I request?

Not necessarily. Responses under this legislation are not just provided to the requestor, but made to ‘the world at large’. So there are exemptions within FOI Act to ensure a balance is achieved between the right to know, the right to personal privacy and the delivery of effective government.

If we apply any exemptions, we will explain which exemption applies and set out the reasons for withholding the information, and if necessary explain why refusal is in the public interest. We will also explain your right of appeal. Exemptions include information which is:

  • We don’t hold the information;
  • Already publicly available or it is due to be published;
  • Personal information;
  • The cost of providing the requested information will take 18 working hours or more to provide the information;
  • Held in confidence;
  • Prejudicial to commercial interests;
  • Held for investigations and proceedings or law enforcement.

For more information about exemptions please read a Guide to freedom of information available from the Information Commissioner’s website.

FOI re-use and copyright

Any information we supply to you under the FOI Act should be for your personal use and we retain copyright to all information we disclose.

It would be helpful if you could tell us if you plan to re-use or publish the information we give you when you first make your request, and your reason for requesting the information.

This will help us make sure you get exactly what you want, and will also help us consider what needs to be done regarding any permission you may need to obtain.

Information released under FOI can be re-used free of charge under an open government licence. Read more on how to use information under an open government licence.

Our performance

The Information Commissioner's Office sets a target of 90 per cent for FOI requests to be answered on time. The data published below shows the percentage of FOI responses which met the 20 working day target for previous years:

Year: Number of Freedom of Information requests received: Percentage of Freedom of Information requests answered within statutory timeframe:
2022-23 1520 92%
2021-22 1576 91%
2020-21 1457 92%
2019-20 1767 88%
2018-19 1906 77%

Information and data that we publish

The Councils Publication Scheme sets out the classes of information that we publish, how it is published and whether we make a charge or not. The scheme ensures that a significant amount of information is available to you, without the need for a specific request, and describes how we work and how to obtain information published by our various departments.

We are currently working on the implementation of our disclosure log and intend to publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests online.

What if I am not satisfied with the response I have received?

You can ask for an Internal Review in writing to us at the contact details below, within 40 days of receipt of your response if:

  • you do not agree with our response;
  • you feel that request has not been handled well.

Corporate Information Governance
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council,
City Hall, Centenary Square,
Bradford, BD1 1HY.

Or by email to foi@bradford.gov.uk

If having exhausted the Internal Review process and you are not content that your request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right of appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a decision:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Website: www.ico.org.uk