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FoI: background information

The Freedom of Information Act received Royal Assent on 30 November 2000 and came into force on 1 January 2005.   From January 2005, any person or body resident in or outside the UK, has the right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, subject only to the limitations imposed by the Act and other legislation.  

The legislation is designed to promote greater openness and transparency throughout the public sector and applies to all public authorities, including West Lancashire Borough Council.

The Information Commissioner is independent and as well as ensuring public authorities comply with the Freedom of Information Act, is also responsible for regulating the handling of and access to personal information about individuals under the 1998 Data Protection Act and environmental information under Environmental Information Regulations 2004.  

Publication scheme

The scheme aims to:

  • say what information we publish, or intend to publish, as a matter of course  
  • explain how and where this information is published  
  • say whether the information is free or if there is a charge  

In preparing this scheme, our website, we have taken notice of the sort of information that people normally ask us for and what they are interested in.  We have also taken notice of the public interest of disclosure of information to help the council become more open.   The scheme, generally, is not retrospective. Policies and similar documents will be removed when they are no longer current. Information about a certain date will not necessarily be available through the scheme forever.  

Monitoring and updating the publication scheme

  • We monitor how well our publication scheme meets the interests of the public  
  • We assess what people are asking for
  • We assess what further classes of information may be usefully published
  • We update the information we have published  
  • We expect that this publication scheme will be reviewed, regularly or renewed as decided by the Information Commissioner  

If you have any comments or suggestions about the publication scheme please contact us. Contact details are in the panel on the right of this page.