With effect from 1st January 2005,
you have a legally enforceable right of access to all recorded
information, which public organisations, like Kent Drug and Alcohol
Action Team, hold.
- The Act gives you two statutory
To be told in writing whether or not we hold the information you
have asked for, and if we do
- To have that information
communicated to you, in the format of your choice
The Freedom of Information Act
provides a statutory right of access to ALL recorded information
that we hold, subject to certain exemptions to disclosure.
Information accessible to you could be on any topic, including
information about other organisations that we do business with. You
have access to information held in any format or media
The Act is retrospective so you
also have a right of access to information created received or
recorded prior to 2000 when the Act became law.
Individuals of any age or nationality, as well as corporate bodies
or pressure groups can request information under the Act.
There is some information that
won't be given on request. Some of our important documents have a
set retention period; this means they must be kept for a certain
period of time, usually to comply with statute, before they are
destroyed. If we have disposed of the document in accordance with
our retention schedule, we cannot be expected to provide it. We do,
however, have a duty to tell you why the information you've asked
for is not available.
There are other reasons that we may not be able to give you the
information you have asked for. This could be the result of an
exemption to disclosure applying: for example if releasing the
information you have requested would breach the Data Protection
Act, would prejudice an ongoing court case or would hinder the
prevention or detection of crime. However, we have a duty to tell
you if we have withheld information and which one of the 23
exemptions was used as justification.
- Making a request for
To make a request for information you must put your application in
writing (which also includes email and fax).
You must state your name and an address for correspondence
- You must state clearly what
information is required and how you would prefer to receive this
information (for example a summary of the information, a copy of
the documents that the information comes from, or a visit to
inspect records in person)
- You do not have to mention
the Freedom of Information Act or why you want the information, but
it would help us to help you if you do.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post: Kent Drug and Alcohol Action Team, Invicta House,
Maidstone. ME14 1XX.
Once you have made your request we
must respond as soon as possible; completing your request no later
than 20 working days after we have received it.
If your request, however, is unclear, we will contact you to
clarify exactly what information you are looking for. The 20
working days begins from the date you confirm details of your
In some instances, a charge may apply for the supplying the
information you want. If so, we will advise you of the cost and you
will need to pay this before we proceed with your request. If the
costs of us looking for the information you want, extrapolating and
collating it exceed £450 (which is equivalent to 18 hours @ £25 per
hour), you may be asked to pay this too.
If you refuse to pay then we are not obliged to supply you with the
information you've asked for.
We can refuse to supply you with the information you've asked for
- It would cost us more than £450 to
locate and extract the information you've asked for
- Or it falls under one of the 23
Either way, we must write and tell
you why we are refusing to deal with your request and which
exemption applies. We will also give you details of how you can get
our decision reassessed. If following reassessment, you are still
unhappy with our response, you can ask the Information Commissioner
to review our decision.
There is no limit to how many requests that you can make, providing
each request is different. However, if you make repeated requests
for the same information, or are obviously trying to disrupt our
operations, we do reserve the right to refuse requests.