Our publication scheme
This is Guildford Borough Council's Publication Scheme, as required under Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
About the Freedom of Information Act 2000
This Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. The Act lists the exemptions from this right as well as the Council's obligations when making information public.
Individuals already have the right to access information about themselves under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR. However, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 effectively extends this right to all kinds of information held by public authorities.
One of the obligations placed on the Council is to adopt and maintain a "Publication Scheme". This must set out the categories of information that the Council makes available, the manner in which it will be published and whether a charge will be made for the information.
About Guildford Borough Council's Publication Scheme
The Director of Strategic Services has overall responsibility for the Publication Scheme. The Information Governance Officer has responsibility for maintaining the scheme on a day-to-day basis.
The Publication Scheme lists all categories of information that the Council is committed to making readily available to the public as a matter of routine.
The Information Commissioner has prepared and approved a model Publication Scheme which may be adopted without modification by any public authority without further approval, and is valid until further notice.
The information covered is included in the classes of information mentioned below, where this information is held by the authority. Additional assistance is provided to the definition of these classes in sector specific guidance manuals issued by the Information Commissioner.
The Publication Scheme commits an authority:
- To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information, including environmental information, which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below.
- To specify the information which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below.
- To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme.
- To produce and publish methods by which the specific information is made routinely available so that it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public.
- To review and update on a regular basis the information the authority makes available under the scheme.
- To produce a schedule of fees charged for information which is made proactively available.
- To make this publication scheme available to the public.
- To publish any data set held by the authority that has been requested, and any updated versions it holds, unless the authority is satisfied that it is not appropriate to do so; to publish the data set, where reasonably practicable, in an electronic form that is capable of re-use; and, if any information in the dataset is a relevant copyright work and the public authority is the only owner, to make the information available for re-use under the terms of the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, if they apply, otherwise under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act section 19. The term 'dataset' is defined in section 11 (5) of the Freedom of Information Act. The term 'relevant copyright work' is defined in section 19 (8) of that Act.
The Council has adopted the following model Publication Scheme.
Classes of information
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.
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 to be protected from disclosure.
- Information in draft form.
- Information 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.
All recorded information that the Council produces which relates to those categories will be published as a matter of routine. However, there are some exceptions.
How Are the Documents Listed in the Scheme Made Available?
At present, the documents listed in the scheme are available either in hard copy format or on the website and, in some cases, both. Some information is available from the Council's reception areas or from specific services.
In exceptional circumstances some information may be available only by viewing in person (eg the Electoral Register). Where this manner is specified, contact details will be provided. An appointment to view the information will be arranged within a reasonable timescale.
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.
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.
Charges which may be made for information published under this scheme
The purpose of this Publication Scheme is to make the maximum amount of information readily available at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. Charges made by the Council for routinely published material will be justified and transparent and kept to a minimum.
Material which is published and accessed on the Council's website will be provided free of charge.
Charges may be made for actual disbursements incurred such as:
- Postage and packaging
- The costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information
Charges may also be made for information provided under this Publication Scheme where they are legally authorised in accordance with a published schedule or schedules of fees which is readily available to the public.
Charges may also be made for making datasets (or parts of datasets) that are relevant copyright works available for re-use. These charges will be in accordance with the terms of the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, where they apply, or with other statutory powers of the public authority.
If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment will be requested prior to provision of the information.
Information held by the Council that is not published under this Publication Scheme can be requested in writing, when its provision will be considered in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
What Information has Guildford Borough Council Included?
Below are links to the more commonly requested types of information which are available on the Council website.
- Planning applications
- Planning committee meetings - where planning applications are considered
- Bin collections and recycling
- Public health funerals
- Business rates
Who we are and what we do
- About Guildford Borough Council
- Guildford Borough Council constitution
- Councillors and meetings
- Voting and elections
The method by which information published under this scheme will be made available
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 at the following address:
Information Governance Officer
Guildford Borough Council
Telephone: (01483) 505050
The Information Governance Officer would also like to hear from you if you have trouble in obtaining any information listed in this scheme.