The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act is fully operational from the 1st January 2005. This act creates significant new rights of access to recorded information held by public authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Act represents a major shift in the way that Thurrock will deal with requests for information, and it will bring about a significant change to the culture of dealing with such requests, and handling information generally.
The FOI Act creates two general rights in relation to information. The first right is to be told whether or not the information requested is held, and the second right is to be given that information within 20 working days. There is also a duty on all councils to adopt and maintain a publication scheme that details the classes of information it will regularly publish.
The FOI Act is a major step forwards in terms of openness and accountability, and successful and enthusiastic implementation of the Act will enable Thurrock Council to serve its customers, stakeholders, and the wider public more effectively, and to build increasing levels of trust in the way we carry out our responsibilities.