Freedom of information
What happens after you have made a Freedom of Information request
After you have made a request
We will send you confirmation that your request has been received. Your request should be answered within 20 working days, though in some circumstances this could be longer.
How we handle a request
Colchester Borough Council, along with all public authorities, has two basic duties under the FOIA; to confirm or deny whether requested information is held, and to provide the requester with the information.
If we intend to refuse a request for information, it will be under one of the exemptions set out in Part 2 of the Act or where it would exceed the cost limit or if it is a vexatious or repeat request. The FOIA exemptions are designated as either ‘absolute’ or ‘qualified’. Absolute exemptions mean that the information does not have to be released. If the exemption is qualified, public authorities must test whether the public interest outweighs the authority maintaining the exemption. View a full list of exemptions.
Exemptions relevant to Colchester Borough Council:
- Section 12: cost limit
- Section 21: information reasonably accessible by other means
- Section 22 and 22a: information intended for future publication and research
- Section 30: investigations and proceedings
- Section 31: law enforcement
- Section 36: effective conduct of public affairs
- Section 40: personal information
- Section 41: information provided in confidence
We will only charge requesters for locating, retrieving and extracting information where we estimate it would exceed the appropriate limit (currently set at £450 for public authorities outside of central government under Section 12 of the Act). We may also charge for actual expenses incurred in disclosing the information, such as printing or photocopying, postage or other forms of transmitting the information.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. Find more information and support on the ICO website.
Page last reviewed: 9 August 2021