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Freedom of information FAQ's

This section contains Frequently Asked Questions about the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Publication Scheme.

Questions

Answers

What is the purpose of the Act?

The Act is intended to give the public greater access to information about the workings of public authorities. This will mean increased transparency and accountability, which will raise the quality of public administration.

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What does the Act do?

The Act gives the public a general right of access to all types of “recorded” information held by public authorities from 1 January 2005, subject to certain exemptions. Public authorities have also had to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme from 30 June 2003.

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Do I have to pay to make a request?

There will be no charge for viewing information on our web site or for inspecting documents. However, where information has to be specifically photocopied, a pricing structure to cover the cost of the photocopying will apply where significant amounts of photocopying are requested. Details of charges applicable can be found in the Publication Scheme.

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How long does a Freedom of Information Request take to process?

The Act requires that we respond within 20 working days from the day after your request is received. We always try to respond as early as possible and in any event to meet this deadline. On occasion our response may be delayed, particularly if your request is large or complex. We will contact you if there is going to be a delay.

We can extend the response time beyond the 20 working days if it is necessary to undertake a public interest test when deciding whether to release information.

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What can I do if I am not satisfied with the way that my request has been handled?

Our response will include details of our internal complaint procedures, known as an Internal Review. An Internal Review is conducted by a senior manager independent of the original decision making process. You will receive the outcome of an internal review as early as possible and within 20 working days.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office, the government regulator for the Freedom of Information Act.

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Who ensures Devon and Cornwall Constabulary complies with the Act?

The Information Commissioner (www.ico.gov.uk) is responsible for ensuring that all public authorities comply with the Act.

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Where can I find more information about freedom of information?

The following websites have useful information:

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What information does the Freedom of Information Act cover?

The Freedom of Information Act covers all information held by Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership.

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