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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives you the right to ask in writing for any information held by any public authority.

However, if the information you require meets the definition of ‘environmental information’ it will be handled under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

If you wish to know what information the council holds about you please see our Data Protection page

How to submit an enquiry

Freedom of Information
Room 007
Borough Hall
Cauldwell St
Bedford
MK42 9AP

Public authorities must respond promptly to information requests within 20 working days. If we need to ask you to clarify your request the 20 day time limit will be suspended while we wait for your response to our request for clarification and will start again as soon as we receive your reply.

You can help avoid any uncertainty (and delay) by describing the specific information you require and the service you want a response from in your request.

Please contact freedomofinformation@bedford.gov.uk if you have not received a response within the 20-day time frame.

Fees for information

Dependent upon the amount of information being sought, you may be asked to pay a fee. Should this be the case, you will be contacted before any work commences.

We can only charge a fee if we estimate the cost of providing the information will be more than £450. We can then refuse to answer on cost grounds, charge up to the full cost or answer it for free.

If your request is refused

The Freedom of Information Act allows us to refuse to give you information where it must not or should not be made public. For example, we may be prevented by other legal provisions from providing it or it may include personal information that should be kept private.

The Act also allows us to refuse information where the cost of supplying it is excessive. Where we are unable to supply information to you we will always give you a full explanation of the reasons.

Internal review

You have the right to ask for a review if you are unhappy in any way with the response we give, or the way we respond.

We will arrange for an independent review of the decision through our internal review procedure.

Independent review

If you are still unhappy with our response to your information request after going through our internal review procedure, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) who oversees public authorities’ performance under the act.

The ICO will review our decision, including the way we have responded, and can order the Council to let you have the information. You (or the Council) can appeal against the Information Commission’s decision to the Information Tribunal.

Publication Scheme

Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires every public authority to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme which has been approved by the ICO and to publish information in accordance with that scheme.

Please look at the Publication Scheme before you request information as details regarding the information you require (or links to that information) may be listed there.

Please email freedomofinformation@bedford.gov.uk if you experience problems with accessing any of the information linking from the Freedom of Information Publication Scheme.

Re-use of public sector information

Please email freedomofinformation@bedford.gov.uk if you have any enquiries regarding re-use of public sector information.

For further information please look at these external links: