Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, including Bradford Council. It sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on Bradford Council.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, including Bradford Council. It sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on Bradford Council.

Since January 2005 any person who makes a request to a public authority for information must be informed whether the public authority holds that information and, subject to exemptions, be supplied with that information.

Information and data that we publish

We have published a Publication Scheme that 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.

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.

See what other people have asked us

Our Disclosure Log summarises the requests received for information and the responses provided. You can look through the Disclosure Log to see what other people have asked us and ask us to send you a copy of the response.

Exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act

Whilst the Freedom of Information Act provides for the right of access to information held, it also affords a number of exemptions from this right in order to permit public authorities to withhold some or all of the information requested where a justifiable reason exists.

The exemptions fall into two categories:

  • Those that are absolute exemptions where the Council may withhold the information without considering any public interest arguments 
  • Those that are qualified i.e. that, although an exemption may apply to the information it will nevertheless have to be disclosed unless the public interest in withholding the information is greater than the public interest in releasing it

In respect of the absolute exemptions, the Council does not have to confirm or deny that it holds the information if to do so would in itself provide exempt information.

Absolute exemptions

The absolute exemptions that are most likely to apply to the Council are:

  • Information which is reasonably accessible by another means, e.g. through the Council’s Publication Scheme or via existing access regimes (Section 21) 
  • Court records (Section 32) 
  • Personal information relating to the person making the request. Such requests will continue to be dealt with under the Data Protection Act 1998 (Section 40(1)) 
  • Personal information about a third party where disclosure of that information would contravene the data protection principles contained in the Data Protection Act 1998 ( Section 40(2)) 
  • Information provided in confidence – this exemption only applies to information where disclosure would result in an actionable breach of confidence (Section 41) 
  • Information that is prohibited from disclosure by law (Section 44)

Qualified exemptions

The qualified exemptions most likely to apply to the Council are:

  • Information intended for future publication (Section 22) 
  • Investigations/proceedings conducted by public authorities (Section 30) 
  • Law enforcement (Section 31) 
  • Prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs (Section 36) 
  • Health and Safety (Section 38) 
  • Environmental Information (Section 39) 
  • Personal information relating to a third party (Section 40) as mentioned above 
  • Legal professional privilege (Section 42) 
  • Commercial interest (Section 43)

A full list of the exemptions under the Act is available from the Information Commissioner’s website.

The public interest test

The public interest test requires that information should be withheld under exemption if, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Contact details

Information Governance Team
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Britannia House
1st Floor
Bradford
BD1 1HX

Phone : 01274 434506
Email : foi@bradford.gov.uk

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