Freedom of information

This page contains the policy statement and general policy of the Local Government Association with respect to freedom of information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


The Local Government Association is the business name of the following organisations both of which are covered by this policy:

  • The Local Government Association (LGA)
  • The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA)

References in this document to the LGA should also be taken to include the IDeA

The Freedom of Information Act 2000

1. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways:

1.1 Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities
1.2 Members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities

2. The Act covers any recorded information held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland. Information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by Scotland's own Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, hand written notes and sound or video recordings.

3. The Act does not give people access to their own personal data (information about themselves) such as their health records or credit references. Individuals wishing to see information about themselves need to make an application under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act.

4. Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces. However, the Act does not necessarily cover every organisation that receives public money. For example, it does not cover the LGA, some charities that receive grants and certain private sector organisations that perform public functions.

5. The LGA is not listed in the Act as a public authority and so is not required to comply with the obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. However as part of its commitment to the principles of openness transparency and accountability, the LGA's policy is to respond to requests for information, broadly within the spirit of the Act.

Policy

6. The LGA has committed to:

Comply within the spirit of the FoIA where we are able, providing advice and assistance to requesters wherever we can.

Seek to respond to requests for information promptly and within 20 working days. Where we are not able to do so we will inform requesters of the reasons and keep them updated of progress in dealing with their request.

Maintain a ‘Publication Scheme' that provides information which is readily accessible without the need for a formal FoIA request.

Continue to protect the personal data entrusted to us, by disclosing it only in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Consult with third parties before disclosing information that could affect their rights and interests. However, we reserve the right to take the final decision on disclosure.

Reserve the right to make reasonable charge for information requests in line with the FoIA Fees Regulations or other applicable regulations, including charging for requests made under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Where we are not minded to disclose information even where exemptions do not apply, seek to explain why.

Where we are not minded to disclose information even where exemptions do not apply, seek to explain why.

Ensure that all staff are aware of their obligations under our commitment to make information available where we can, on receipt of requests.

Deal with any complaints in line with our Complaints Policy which is published on our website

Making a request for information

If you wish to request information which is not already published on our website through our Publication Scheme, please email foi@local.gov.uk or write to us at:

Local Government Association
Local Government House
Smith Square
London SW1P 3HZ

When making your request you should include: 

Your  preferred correspondence details e.g. name, email or postal address

A clear description of the information you are requesting in as much detail as possible. If we need to clarify your request it may take longer to provide the information to you

Making a request for your own personal data 

If you wish to request information which is held by the LGA and which relates to yourself, please email foi@lga.gov.uk or write to us at the above postal address. We will treat your request as a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998.
 
Further information about your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 is available from the website of the Information Commissioner's Office.