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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Freedom of Information

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Overview

To make a freedom of information request please click on the button above.

We already make a lot of information available to our customers. You can get information on our website, and we produce leaflets and many other publications. We want you to have access to all the information you need in order that you can become involved in our work. If you can’t find the information that you need in the publication scheme then you can make a Freedom of Information Request to ask that we make it available to you. We have 20 working days to provide the information once we have received your request.

  • There may be a charge for providing the information. This will reflect the cost of providing the information. We will work out the charge as quickly as possible. It will be calculated as described in the published 'Fees Regulations' as issued by the Departmental of Constitutional Affairs.
  • We will make all reasonable efforts to find the information you want but may ask you to give us more details if your original request does not help us to find exactly what you want. It is only once we receive this additional information that the 20 working days for a response will restart.
  • Any later requests you make may attract additional fees so please be careful to request all the information you require.
  • We reserve the right not to provide information in cases where an exemption may apply, but will advise you of the details if this is the case.
Essential Information
  • The Birmingham City Council disclosure log provides details of the requests for information made to us under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and the subsequent responses that we feel are of interest to the wider public.

    Further information can be found by clicking on the following link www.birmingham.gov.uk/foi_disclosure

  • Part of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) requires the provision of a Publication Scheme. Our Publication Scheme has been approved by the Information Commissioner, who is responsible for promoting good practice and ensuring compliance with Freedom of Information and Data Protection Laws.

    Further information can be found by clicking on the following link www.birmingham.gov.uk/publication-scheme.

Frequently Asked Questions
    • You can ask for any information relating to the council, however, your right to ask for information only relates to information held by us at the time that you make your request.


      Information may be in any form:


      • Printout;
      • Computerised records;
      • Maps;
      • Plans;
      • Microfilm;
      • Audio-visual material;
      • Paper etc.

      Freedom of Information provides a right to access information rather than to records or documents. Although you are not required to ask for any particular document, you must describe the information you are requesting in as much detail as possible.


      We publish a wide range of information - check our Publication Scheme, to find out whether the information you are asking for has already been published or if there are plans to do so.

    • No, you do not have to tell us why you want to see any information.


      We must give you an explanation if you are not given the information you have requested.

    • A request for personal information about yourself must be made under the Data Protection Act 1998. You can use the Data Protection Subject Access Request form that is available at the bottom of this page.

    • If you are unable to put your request in writing, you can ask another person to make the request on your behalf.


      We can also accept a verbal request. This will require one of our officers to make a note of your request over the telephone on 0121 303 1111 (or face to face in a Neighbourhood Office) they will then send the note to you so you can check and confirm the details and return it to us. Or we can send you a part completed FOI Request for Information.


      We can also arrange for you to see or have the information you are requesting explained to you where possible.


      We can also provide guidance in other languages including Braille

    • Yes, information about another person will be dealt with under FOI. However before you are given access to personal information relating to someone else, you may have to prove that they consent to this. If you can not do so we may need to be contact them so that their consent can be asked for.

    • It is our aim to ensure that information should be made available unless it is clearly not in the public interest to do so.


      However, some categories of Council information may be covered by an exemption under the Act.


      Confidentiality is sometimes necessary to ensure the effectiveness of our decision-making and to protect commercial interests, as well as information provided in confidence, personal information and other important interests.

    • You should give much information as you can, so that we can identify and locate the information that you want.


      If you are requesting personal information, please state who the information is about. You will not normally be given access to the personal information of someone else unless you have the written consent of that person.


      If you don’t give us enough information for us to identify or locate the information, or if the request is unclear, we will try to help you to describe it more clearly. We aim to clarify the sort of information you want, not to find out why you are asking for the information.


      Where information is likely to be refused on cost grounds, we will give you an indication of what information could be provided within the costs ceiling.

    • We may not hold the information you are asking for. It may have been destroyed in accordance with our data retention policies or another public body may hold the information. In such cases, you will be told that we do not hold the information. If we believe that another public body holds the information and that it would be appropriate to transfer your request to them, then we will do this and write to you to tell you. We may suggest that you apply to the public body directly, if this is more appropriate.

    • Yes, charges may apply if a large volume of printed material is required. You will be told about any photocopying charges at the time of your request.

    • You are entitled to say how you wish the information to be given to you.


      This may be by letter, e-mail or by inspection at a Council office on a date and time to be mutually agreed. It may not always be possible for us to comply with your wishes. As an example there may be times where a document contains some information suitable for release under the Act, but also some information covered by another Act or exemption that prevents us from giving it to you. Therefore inspection of the original documents may not be possible. If that is the case we will advise you of this.

    • We will respond as quickly as we can. We must respond within twenty working days of the date we receive your request, or if charges are applicable, once the appropriate fee is received.

    • Yes, repeated requests and/or applications made with the aim of frustrating the operations of the Council might be refused.


      We may also refuse to comply with a request for information where we estimate that the cost would exceed the cost ceiling set by the Fees Regulations.


      We may also refuse to comply with the request where the information is considered to be exempt under the FOI Act. Should this be the case, then you will be given an explanation of the reasons for us refusing your request.

    • Yes, if you are not satisfied with the decision you may ask for an internal review using our Your Views procedure.


      If you are not satisfied with our decision you may apply to the Information Commissioner for an independent review at the following address:


      The Information Commissioner
      Wyncliffe House
      Water Lane
      Wilmslow
      Cheshire
      SK9 5AF


      Telephone Number: 01625 545745

      Web Address: www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

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