Ch: 81 Freedom of Information and Environmental Information
This chapter provides advice and information about the rights of individuals and other third parties which are given by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. It also gives information on the procedures for dealing with requests made under the above legislation and provides suitable template letters that staff can use for responding to information requests.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to any recorded information held by The Insolvency Service (subject to certain exemptions). The Act allows any person to obtain details of recorded information including: who we are and what we do; what we spend and how it is spent; what our priorities are and how we achieve them; how we make decisions; our policies and procedures; information we hold on lists and registers and the services we offer.
Annex A provides and overview of dealing with a request and a flowchart to assist in cases where personal information is contained within a request.
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provide the right of access to environmental information held by The Insolvency Service. A request under the Regulations may be verbal or in writing. Any request for environmental information is exempted from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and must be dealt with under Environmental Information Regulations instead.
The Regulations allow any person to obtain details of recorded information including: policies, plans and agreements; reports and economic analysis/cost benefits; built structures; emissions and discharges, energy, radioactive waste, noise. It will also cover information on the state of human health and safety and the conditions of human life where they are affected by environmental factors such as acid rain, pollution etc. Part 6 covers the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 in detail.
The Data Protection Act gives a general right for individuals to obtain copies of personal information that The Insolvency Service holds about them. An individual is entitled (subject to certain exemptions) to be told what personal information is held, how it is being processed, the purpose of the processing and to whom the data has or may be disclosed. Any request for information which includes personal information must be dealt with by reference the Data Protection Act rather than the Freedom of Information Act or the Environmental Information Regulations. Chapter 81A cover this Act in detail.
The chapter is divided into parts as follows:
Part 1 – Freedom of Information and The Insolvency Service (paragraphs 81.02 – 81.07)
Part 2 – Dealing with requests (paragraphs 81.08 – 81.36)
Part 3 – Exemptions to disclosure (paragraphs 81.37 – 81.70)
Part 4 – Fees and Appropriate Limit Regulations 2004 (paragraphs 81.71 – 81.88)
Part 5 – Publication Scheme (paragraphs 81.89 – 81.94)
Part 6 – Environmental Information Regulations (paragraphs 81.95 – 81.103)
Annex A – Overview of process for dealing with requests, flowchart.
Annex B – The Insolvency Service publication scheme.
Annex C – Environmental Information Regulations log sheet
Abbreviations used in this chapter
BIS – The Department for Business Innovation and Skills
CAD – Centralised Activities Directorate
CBS – Corporate and Business Services
DPA – The Data Protection Act 1998
EIR – The Environmental Information Regulations 2004
Fees Regs – Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004
FOIA – Freedom of Information Act 2000
IAO – Information Asset Owner
IC – Information Commissioner
ICO – Information Commissioners Office
IES – Investigation and Enforcement Services
IRU – The Information Rights Unit (BIS)
The Service – The Insolvency Service
The Freedom of Information and Data Protection Liaison Officer for The Service is Richard Sibun.
[On to Part 1 - Freedom of Information and The Insolvency Service]