Page 1

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION POLICY

Responsible Directorate:

Corporate Services February 2010

Date Approved: Information Governance Group Committee: Version 2 Version: March 2013 Revision Date: Helena Corder Accountable Director:


Version Control Sheet

Document Title: Internet Use Policy Version: 0.2 The table below logs the history of the steps in development of the document. See example below Version 0.2

Date Mar 10

Author VT

Status Draft

Comment

1


Contents

Section

Page

1

Introduction

3

2

Aims and Objectives

3

3

Scope of the Policy

4

4

Accountability

4

5

Definition of Terms

5

6

Process for dealing with FOI requests

6

7

Training Needs Analysis

11

8

Equality Impact Assessment

11

9

Implementation and Dissemination

12

10

Monitoring Compliance with and the Effectiveness of the policy

12

11

Questions

12

12

Legal References

12

13

Associated Documentation

Appendices Appendix 1

Exemptions under part 11 of the FOIA

13

Appendix 2 FOI Review Process

15

Appendix 3

Equality Impact Assessment Tool

18

Appendix 4

Sign Off Sheet regarding Dissemination of Procedural 19 Document

Appendix 5

Template letters

20

Addendum Addendum 1 FOI Operational Process Document

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1.

Introduction This document defines the Freedom of Information Policy for NHS Kirklees (PCT). The Freedom of Information Act is part of the Government‟s commitment to greater openness in the public sector. It enables members of the public to scrutinise the decisions of public authorities more closely and be confident that services are delivered properly and efficiently. The main features of the Act are: A duty on every public authority to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme (see section 6.1 ) A general right of access to all recorded information held by the PCT (subject to exemptions set out in the Act). An applicant has the right to ask „do you have it‟ and „can I see it‟ (see section 6.2) The creation of the Information Commissioner‟s Office to oversee the implementation and compliance with this Act and the Data Protection Act 1998 The PCT supports the principle that openness should be the norm in public life. The PCT also believes that individuals have a right to privacy and confidentiality, and this policy does not overturn the common law duty of confidentiality or statutory provisions that prevents disclosure of personal information. The release of such information will be dealt with under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. The PCT must still be able to carry out its duties effectively and make sure the exemptions outlined in the Freedom of Information Act are applied appropriately. This policy should be read in conjunction with the following PCT documents: Records Management Policy Confidentiality Policy PCT Code of Business Conduct and Commercial Sponsorship Access to Records Policy PCT Complaints Policy Information Governance Policy

2.

Aims and objectives The aim of this policy is to: To make sure all Freedom of Information requests are dealt with consistently and receive an appropriate response however and wherever the contact is made; To make sure that the PCT complies with all Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation; To make sure staff at all levels are aware of their responsibilities with regards to the Act, either in directing any Freedom of Information 3


queries to the appropriate person/department, or in ensuring they provide any information requested in a timely fashion. To make sure timescales are met To make sure the Board is fully informed on the operation of the Act and any implications to the service. 3.

Scope of the policy The Freedom of Information Policy applies to all staff, including those on temporary or honorary contracts, secondments, pool staff and students. This policy applies to all information held by the PCT, including documents that have been supplied by other organisations or held by other organisations on the PCTâ€&#x;s behalf. Staff should be aware that all documents they create in the course of their duties may fall within the scope of the Act. The information can be held in any form, including recordings or notes of telephone calls, file notes, the web, e-mails and video/audio recordings. All PCT staff should have a basic understanding of the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Legislation and how to apply this policy to their work environment in order to direct enquirers appropriately. There is an expectation that Independent Contractors will observe the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, including having and maintaining their own publication scheme.

4.

Accountability

4.1 The Board The Board is responsible for making sure the PCT complies with its statutory requirements. The Policy and the associated operational process are the tools to discharge this responsibility. 4.2 The Information Governance Group The Information Governance Group is responsible for the review and approval of the Freedom of Information Policy which will be ratified by the Governance Committee. It will also consider and report FOI issues to the Governance Committee, having delegated responsibility from the Board. 4.3 Director of Corporate Services The Director of Corporate Services is the Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) and has Board level responsibility for all aspects of Information Governance, including ensuring the PCT has appropriate systems and policies in place to comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 4


The Director of Corporate Services will report Freedom of Information issues to the Governance Committee and where appropriate the Board 4.4 Management of Freedom of Information The Head of Patient Safety and Risk is the operational lead for FOI. Having responsibility for providing specialist advice and support on Freedom of Information Requests including recommending the appropriate application of exemptions. He is also responsible for reviewing the policy and ensuring it is updated in line with any changes to national guidance or local policy. 4.5 Customer Liaison Officer The Customer Liaison Officer is responsible for the day to day management of FOI requests, ensuring that they are processed in line with legislation and to statutory timescales. 4.6 Employees All employees have responsible to be aware of the policy, attending Information governance training (or completing the Connecting for Health on line IG Training tool, http://www.igtelearning.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/igte/index.cfm) and responding to requests for information in line with this policy. The PCT will take all reasonable steps to make sure that staff are aware of policies, protocols, procedures and legal obligations relating to the FOI Act. This will be delivered through training and staff communications at departmental and Trust-wide level. 5.

Definition of terms „The Act‟ refers to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 „FOI‟ is an acronym for Freedom of Information „DPA‟ is an acronym for the Data Protection Act 1998 „ICO‟ is an acronym for the Information Commissioners Office (independent regulator for Freedom of Information and the Data Protection Act) „Exemption‟ refers to provisions within the Act that define particular types of information that public authorities are not obliged to disclose (may be absolute or qualified exemptions. See 6.7). „Public Interest Test‟ required for qualified exemptions to determine if disclosure of the information is in the public interest 5


„Publication Schemeâ€&#x; the PCT has a legal requirement to compile and make available a list of type of documents it has in its possession and that it will routinely and proactively provide to the public. This is called a Publication Scheme. The PCT Publication Scheme can be found on our website or in hard copy on request from inquiries@kirklees.nhs.uk. 6

Process for dealing with FOI requests All requests made under the FOI will be received by the Customer Liaison Officer, if on first assessment responsibility for dealing with the request is clear e.g. Medicines Management, Primary Care Commissioning, Finance etc then this will be directed accordingly. Any requests, about which responsibility is not clear, then this will be discussed with the Head of Patient Safety and Risk, if it is still not possible to determine responsibility the request will be referred to the Director of Corporate Services for a decision. All requests will be routinely reviewed on a weekly basis by the Customer Liaison Officer and Head of Patient Safety and Risk, who will also take responsibility to monitor responses, ensuring adherence to time scales. Operational responsibilities for dealing with FOI requests are dealt with separately (see Addendum 1) which provides operational guidance for respondents.

6.1 Classes of Information Classes of information cannot be added or removed without the approval of the Information Commissioner. However if anyone feels that a class should be added or removed they should make a case to the Head of Patient Safety and Risk who with the Director for Corporate Services will consider the request. The current classes of information are: Who we are and what we do What we spend and how we spend it What are our priorities and how are we doing How we make decisions Our policies and procedures Lists and registers The services we offer Brief outlines of these classes are contained in the PCTs Publication Scheme.

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6.2

General Rights of Access The Act gives a general right of access to recorded information held by the PCT (subject to certain exemptions). This means that any person who makes a request has the right to: a)

Be informed in writing (either by letter or e-mail) whether the PCT holds the information requested, and

b)

If the PCT holds that information, have it communicated to them

It is important to understand that a request for information does not need to be marked as such; there is no need for the applicant to say they are making a Freedom of Information request. Essentially, the Act covers all requests for information. Requests for information could be included in, for example, a compliment or complaint letter. It is also important to make a distinction between requests for information and routine correspondence. Requests for information that can be provided without any question (recruitment brochures, press releases, leaflets) should be treated as business as usual. Similarly requests that are not for recorded information but which pose questions (please explain your policy on Y? Why do you do X?) should be treated as routine correspondence. Where it appears that the enquirer thought they were applying for information under the Act, please note in any correspondence: “The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a right to the public to access information held by public bodies. However, your letter dated [add] sought an explanation of [add] rather than a copy of information held by us. If you would like to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 please submit a request in writing, clearly identifying the documents or information that you require and supplying a return address for the delivery of the information.� A request for access must be made in writing, giving the name of the applicant, an address for correspondence and a description of the information requested. In writing will include information transmitted by electronic means provided it is legible and capable of subsequent reference. The Act requires that requests are responded to within 20 working days. If the PCT decides to make use of a condition or exemption to withhold information, the applicant will be informed within 20 working days. As recommended in the Lord Chancellors code of practice, the PCT will set out details about how requests for information will be dealt with, and 7


this will be available to the public. Whilst the Trust cannot ask the applicant the reason or purpose for their request, it can contact the applicant to request further information about the requested and narrow down what might otherwise be a vague or broad request. 6.3 Advice and Assistance Section 16 of the Act requires the PCT to provide advice and assistance to applicants and would-be applicants. The PCT will do this taking into account other statutory duties, e.g. the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The Head of Patient Safety and Risk will co-ordinate the discharge of this duty. 6.4 Publication Scheme The PCT is required to disclose the nature of information held by setting up and maintaining a Publication Scheme. This Publication Scheme will set out categories of information that we undertake to publish. The PCT will make sure it‟s publication scheme meets all relevant standards for FOI. 6.5 Publication Scheme Management The Head of Patient Safety and Risk supported by the Head of Communications will manage the Scheme and its implementation. The PCT has adopted the model publication scheme developed by the Information Commissioners Office. The Scheme will be monitored, updated and reviewed at regular intervals to be determined by the responsible Director. The Scheme will be available on the website or in hardcopy on request from the Head of Patient Safety and Risk. The documents available through the Scheme will be the final, approved versions only. It is the PCT‟s policy not to include draft documents in this Scheme. Because of this, in some cases it will say „we undertake to publish this information in the future‟ or „this information will be available in the future‟. Wherever possible, the PCT will give an idea as to when this information will be available. As the scheme contains agendas and minutes of meetings, the version available through the Publication Scheme will be the most up to date. Other information will be updated as required or as stated in the Scheme. General advice and support and information relating to FOI will be available/provided by the Head of Patient Safety and Risk. 6.6 Information Management The Scheme covers a wide range of information from all areas of the Trust. It is the responsibility of each Directorate and departmental managers to make sure that up to date information is provided to the Head of Patient Safety and Risk so that the Scheme can be kept up to date. This is especially important with documents such as policies and 8


procedures and information leaflets. It will be assumed that the appropriate managers are satisfied with the current documents unless they state otherwise. It is also the responsibility of the relevant managers to make sure that records management in their department is compliant with the PCTâ€&#x;s Records Management Policy and that the section D appendix is kept up to date. 6.7 Conditions and exemptions Conditions The PCT can postpone dealing with a request if: It reasonably requires more information to identify and locate the information requested and has written to the applicant informing them of this. The PCT will make reasonable efforts to contact the applicant for the additional information. If complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit established in the National Fees Regulations (exceeds ÂŁ450.00 or 18 working hours). The PCT will work with applicants to keep compliance costs to a minimum, but maintains the right to refuse such a request. If the request is vexatious. If the PCT has recently complied with a request for information then it is not required to comply with a subsequent identical or highly similar request unless a reasonable time interval has elapsed. A log of all requests will be kept for monitoring purposes and this can be used to identify vexatious requests. Exemptions The Act specifies a number of different exemptions and when they can be applied. There are two types of exemption: absolute and qualified. An absolute exemption means that the PCT is exempt from the need to confirm or deny. This means that the PCT does not have to admit or deny holding the information. A qualified exemption means that the PCT has to consider the public interest before making the decision. The PCT will endeavour to use these exemptions appropriately and sparingly. Any decision to use the exemptions will be taken by the Head of Patient Safety and Risk after consultation with the Director of Corporate Services and other senior colleagues as appropriate. Appendix 1 contains details of the exemptions available under the Act.

9


6.8 Public Interest Test Public interest must be considered in every case where a qualified exemption applies. The Information Commissioner states that “In effect something in the public interest is something which serves the interests of the public. When applying the test, the public authority is simply deciding whether in any particular case it serves the interests of the public better to withhold or to disclose information.” Public interest will vary with each request and the exemption being considered. It may often include ensuring honesty, accountability, transparent decision making and the absence of bias. The PCT will consider the public interest on a case by case basis. It will seek advice from relevant professionals as necessary (this may include legal advice). The public interest does not include protecting an authority or individual from embarrassment. There is no exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for embarrassment. 6.9 Public sector contracts When entering into contracts, the PCT will limit the contractual terms which are intended to restrict the disclosure of information held by the PCT. The PCT cannot „contract out‟ its obligations under the Act. The Lord Chancellors Code of Practice states that “unless an exemption provided for under the Act is applicable in relation to any particular information, a public authority will be obliged to disclose that information in response to a request, regardless of the terms of any contract”. Contractors may put pressure on the PCT to accept confidentiality clauses covering information about the terms of the contract, its value and performance. Where it is necessary to include a non-disclosure provision in a contract (exceptional circumstances only) an option could be to agree a schedule with the contractor that clearly identifies the information that should not be disclosed. The Trust would have to be aware that any restrictions on disclosure in such a schedule could be overridden by the obligations of the Act. It is the responsibility of the PCT to ensure that bidders for contracts are made aware of any relevant decisions taken about the status of information submitted in any bidding process. The PCT should not hold information „in confidence‟ that is not confidential in nature. The confidential information exemption under the Act only applies if the release of such information constitutes a breach of confidence actionable in a court of law. 6.10 Complaints Initial complaints about the handling of a request for information under the Act will go to the Head of Patient Safety and Risk and will follow the PCT FOI Review procedure (see Appendix 2). When the applicant is 10


informed of the outcome of this process, they must be given the details of the Office of the Information Commissioner and informed of their right to take their complaint to that Office. 6.11 Records Management Good records management is the key to complying with this Act. The PCT has a Records Management Policy and supporting guidelines which provide comprehensive guidance for the management of all records and are consistent with: Records Management Code of Practice - Department of Health 2006 The Lord Chancellorâ€&#x;s Code of Practice on the Management of Records under Section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (November 2002) Good records management should allow the PCT to deal with requests in an efficient and accurate manner. Also, not knowing whether or not a record is held is not a valid reason for not complying with a request. 6.12

Round Robin Requests In line with Department of Health guidelines any request that is received, which it is believed has been sent to numerous NHS organisations, then the Strategic Health Authority must be informed of the request so that standard replies can be given where applicable

7

Training needs analysis The level and frequency of Information Governance training has been agreed taking into account national guidance and requirements. This training is aimed to improve the way in which patient information is managed and used. The PCT will provide basic Information Governance training through induction including an overview of the FOI Act and signposting further resources. All training throughout the PCT is recorded by the Training and Education Team.

8

Equality impact assessment The PCT aims to design and implement services, policies and measures that meet the diverse needs of our service, population and workforce, ensuring that none are placed at a disadvantage over others. The PCT uses a single equality impact assessment for all of its policies and procedures. The Equality Impact Assessment for this policy is included at Appendix 3. The assessment does not identity any specific impacts. 11


9

Implementation and dissemination Following ratification by the Governance Committee this policy will be disseminated to staff via the PCT‟s intranet. The policy will also be made available to Independent Contractors as good practice. This Policy will be reviewed in line with changes to relevant legislation or national guidance and as directed by the responsible Officer.

10

Monitoring compliance with and the effectiveness of the policy Performance indicators will include percentage of FOI requests completed within the statutory 20 day timeframe. The number of FOI‟s where all or some of the information was provided and the number of refusals or exemptions used. The performance indicator will be reported to the Information Governance Group, quarterly.

11

Questions If you have any questions or comments about this Freedom of Information Policy, please contact the Head of Patient Safety and Risk on 01484 464045.

12

Legal references The following documents are referenced in this policy: Freedom of Information Act 2000 Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) Data Protection Act 1998 Records Management Code of Practice Lord Chancellor‟s Code of Practice on the Discharge of Public Authorities‟ Functions under Part I of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, issued under section 45 of the Act (November 2002) Lord Chancellor‟s Code of Practice on the Management of Records under section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (November 2002)

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Appendix 1 Exemptions available under Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Information accessible to the applicant by other means – it may be reasonably accessible even if the applicant has to pay for it. Information intended for future publication – covers information held with a view to publication by the public authority or another person at some future date. Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies with security matters – this is aimed at the Security Services, Government Communications Headquarters and the National Criminal Intelligence Service. National security – information can be exempt if it is required to safeguard national security. Defence – information can be exempt if its release would affect the defence of the British Isle, any British colony or the capability and effectiveness of the armed forces. International relations – information is exempt if its release would prejudice relations with another State, international organisation, international court or the interests of the UK abroad. Relations within the United Kingdom – covers information that may prejudice relations between the administrations within the UK. The economy – covers information that would prejudice the economic interest of the UK or of any administration in the UK. Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities – covers information held for an investigation that the authority has a duty to conduct to decide if a person should be charged with or found guilty of an offence, relates to criminal proceedings that the authority has power to conduct or relates to civil proceedings brought by or on behalf of the authority. Law enforcement – information is exempt if its release would prejudice law enforcement. This includes the prevention and detection of crime, apprehension and prosecution of offenders, administration of justice, the operation of immigration controls and the security of prisons. Court records – covers documents in the custody of a court, created by a court or served on or by a public authority for court proceedings. Audit functions – this applies to authorities that have functions relation to the audit of other authority‟s accounts and the examination of efficiency and effectiveness of the use of their resources. This does not cover internal auditing functions of authorities. Parliamentary privilege – to avoid infringing the privileges of either House of Parliament. Formulation of government policy – relates to government departments and the National Assembly for Wales. Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs – information is exempt if, in the opinion of a qualified person, it would prejudice how the Trust conducts its public affairs.

13


Communications with Her Majesty, etc. and honours – covers Her Majesty, other members of the Royal Family. Health and safety – information is exempt if its disclosure would endanger the physical health, mental health or safety of any individual. Environmental information – covers information that can be accessed via the Environmental Information Regulations. Personal information – where the applicant is the subject of the information the request must be dealt with in accordance with the Subject Access rights provided in the Data Protection Act 1998. Where the applicant is not the subject of the information, then it is exempt if disclosure if it would breach the Data Protection Act. Information provided in confidence – if the disclosure of the information would constitute a breach of confidence that could be lead to action against the Trust. Legal professional privilege Commercial interests – information is exempt if it constitutes a trade secret or would prejudice or be likely to prejudice the commercial interests or any person or organisation. Prohibitions on disclosure – information is exempt if its release is prohibited under any enactment, it is incompatible with Community obligation or would constitute contempt of court.

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Appendix 2 Freedom of Information Review Process 1. This procedure will deal with complaints arising from the PCT‟s obligations under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act in respect of maintenance of the publication scheme, and handling of requests for information. 2. The PCT‟s publication scheme will advise individuals about who they should complain to about the maintenance of the scheme and inform individuals of their right to complain to the Information Commissioner‟s Office. 3. When communicating any decision made in relation to a request under the Act‟s general right of access, the PCT will notify the applicant of their right of complaint. They should be informed of the PCT‟s review process for dealing with issues relating to the publication scheme or handling of requests. They should also be informed of the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. 4. Any written communication (including one transmitted by electronic means) expressing dissatisfaction with a PCT response to a valid request for information, or operation of the publication scheme will be classed as a complaint. 5. Complaints should be handled initially by the Head of Patient Safety and Risk. FOI complaints will be logged by the Customer Liaison Officer. FOI complaints should be addressed to the: Victor Thompson NHS Kirklees Broad Lea House Bradley Business Park Dyson Wood Way Bradley Huddersfield HD2 1GZ 6. The Customer Liaison Officer will acknowledge receipt and completion of the complaint. 7. The Customer Liaison Officer will inform the Head of Patient Safety and Risk that a request is the subject of a complaint and this should be logged on the FOI system. 8. The Head of Patient Safety and Risk will initially inspect the letter of complaint and make a judgement whether to uphold the complaint. Where the Head of Patient Safety and Risk maintains the original decision was correct a further review of the original decision must be made taking the advice of the Director of Corporate Services. 15


9. The applicant will be informed: • That review process is taking place • The intended date that the review process will be completed and a response sent 10.The review process should be completed within 20 days of the letter of complaint. Where the intended date of the review can not be met, the applicant must be informed as to the delay and be given a new date for completion. 11.The review will be carried out by a staff member at Director level who has no previous involvement in the original request. They will base their decision on receipt of relevant information and guidance relating to the case. They will liaise with the person who made the original decision who must provide their reason for coming to their decision. 12. Where the exemption to be applied is a qualified exemption the person(s) carrying out the review must carry out a public interest test and document their reasons for either non-disclosure or disclosure of the requested information, a copy of the public interest test is to be retained by the Customer Liaison Officer. 13. If the refusal notice is on the grounds of cost (exceeds £450.00 or 18 working hours) documentary evidence must be produce as to how the request exceeds the limit and a copy retained. 14. Where the outcome of the complaint is that information should be disclosed which was previously withheld, the information in question should be disclosed as soon as practicable and the applicant be informed as to how soon this will be. 15. Where the outcome of a complaint is that procedures within the PCT have not been properly followed by PCT staff the PCT will apologise to the applicant and take appropriate steps to prevent similar errors in future. 16. Where the outcome of a complaint is that the initial decision was correct or is otherwise in the PCT‟s favour, the applicant should be informed of the decision and also of their right to apply to the Information Commissioner (contact details below): Information Commissioner's Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF Telephone: 01625 545 700

16


17. The letter outlining the outcome of the review will be signed by the Director who has conducted the review process.

17


Appendix 3 Equality Impact Assessment Tool Insert Name of Policy / Procedure 1.

2.

3.

4.

Does the policy/guidance affect one group less or more favourably than another on the basis of: Race

Yes/No

Comments

No

FOI requests can be submitted in any manner of format in support of fair and equal access and all FOI requests are auctioned in an equitable manner. We must be mindful that groups without access to the internet may be disadvantaged as in not being aware of the information publically available, however on request in person or by telephone this would be explained. The above statements apply. The above statements apply. The above statements apply. The above statements apply. The above statements apply. The above statements apply. The above statements apply.

Ethnic origins (including gypsies and travellers)

No

Nationality

No

Gender

No

Culture

No

Religion or belief

No

Sexual orientation including lesbian, gay and bisexual people Age

No No

Disability - learning disabilities, physical disability, sensory impairment and mental health problems Is there any evidence that some groups are affected differently?

No

If you have identified potential discrimination, are any exceptions valid, legal and/or justifiable? Is the impact of the policy/guidance likely to be negative?

No

No

There is no evidence available or complaints to suggest this.

No

18


Insert Name of Policy / Procedure 5. 6.

7.

If so can the impact be avoided? What alternatives are there to achieving the policy/guidance without the impact? Can we reduce the impact by taking different action?

Yes/No N/A N/A

Comments

Yes

Officers of the PCT need to demonstrate an awareness of the rights of the public to make an FOI request and advise accordingly, particularly when a request isnâ€&#x;t badged as FOI, but clearly fall with the remit of FOI. If you have identified a potential discriminatory impact of this procedural document, please refer it to Victor Thompson, together with any suggestions as to the action required to avoid/reduce this impact. For advice in respect of answering the above questions, please contact Victor Thompson, Head of Patient Safety and Risk, tel: 01484 464045, e-mail victor.thompson@kirklees.nhs.uk .

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Appendix 4 Sign Off Sheet regarding Dissemination of Procedural Documents To be completed and attached to any document which guides practice when submitted to the appropriate committee for consideration and approval. Title of Document:

Freedom of Information Policy

Lead Director:

Helena Corder, Director of Corporate Services

Date Approved:

3rd March 2011

Where approved:

Information Governance Group

Dissemination Lead: Placed on Website: Review Date:

Victor Thompson Polices March 2013

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Appendix 5 Template letters Response letter <date> <address> Dear [insert name] Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information about (subject). Your request was received on (date) and I am dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your request is being considered and you will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party. If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal font size. If you require alternative formats, e.g. language, audio, large print, etc. then please let me know. If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. Further information about your rights is also available from the Information Commissioner at: Information Commissioner's Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF Telephone: 01625 545 700 www.ico.gov.uk Re-Use of Information Any information we provide following your request under the Freedom of Information Act will not confer an automatic right for you to re-use that information, for example to publish it. If you wish to re-use the information that we provide and you do not specify this in your initial application for information then you must make a further request for its re-use as per the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 www.opsi.gov.uk . This will not affect your initial information request. Yours sincerely

Request for additional information.

<date> 21


<address> Dear [insert name] Further information required I am writing regarding your request for information, which I received on [date]. In that request, you asked us for [outline of request]. The department reasonably requires further information in order to identify and locate the information that you have asked for [include explanation of why this is the case, if appropriate]. I will not be able to take this matter further without extra information from you. In particular, it would be useful to know [give the applicant an indication of the sort of information that you will require in order to proceed with the request] If you wish to discuss any of the above, please contact me. If I have not heard anything from you before xx/xx/xx I will assume that you no longer require this information and I will write to you to inform you that your file has been closed. Further information about your rights is also available from the Information Commissioner at: Information Commissioner's Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF Telephone: 01625 545 700 www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

22


Extension request letter <date> <address> Dear [insert name] Further to my email of the 24 July 2010, I am writing to inform you that we require more time to respond to your request for information. The Act allows us 20-working-days to respond to your request from the date of its receipt. However, it is occasionally necessary to extend this 20 working day time limit for issuing a response. In your case, I regret that we must extend the time limit for responding by 20 working days because the information requested will require information from other staff members at the PCT, some of whom have been on annual leave or will be on leave. If you have any queries about this e-mail, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. Further information about your rights is also available from the Information Commissioner at: Information Commissioner's Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF Telephone: 01625 545 700 www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

23


Final response letter <date> <address> Dear [insert name] Freedom of Information Act 2000 I am writing in respect of your recent enquiry for information held by the PCT under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You asked for information relating to (subject). In response to your request; please find below/enclosed the following response: If you have any queries or concerns, then please contact me on the details provided at the top of this letter. If you are unhappy with the outcome or service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision, you should contact me in the first instance and I will be happy to work through any issues you may have. Alternatively, you can write to the Head of Patient Safety and Risk at the address at the top of the letter. If you are not content with the outcome your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissionerâ&#x20AC;&#x;s Office (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the Access to Information complaints procedure provided by Kirklees PCT. Further Information about your rights is available from the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF Telephone: 01625 545 700 www.ico.gov.uk Re-use of information For information, please note that any information we provide following your request under the Freedom of Information Act will not confer an automatic 24


right for you to re-use that information, for example to publish it. If you wish to re-use the information that we provide and you did not specify this in your initial application for information then you must make a further request to the PCT for its re-use as per the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 www.opsi.gov.uk . This will not affect your initial information request.

Yours sincerely

25

/FOI_policy_03_03_2011  

http://www.kirklees.nhs.uk/uploads/tx_galileodocuments/FOI_policy_03_03_2011.pdf

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