The Freedom of Information Act came into force at the beginning of 2005. It deals with access to official information, while parallel regulations deal with environmental information.
The Act provides individuals or organisations with the right to request information held by a public authority. They can do this by letter or email.
The Trust must tell the applicant whether it holds the information and should supply it within 20 working days.
However, the Trust does not have to confirm or deny the existence of the information or provide it if an exemption applies, the request is vexatious or similar to a previous request, or if the cost of compliance exceeds an appropriate limit.
If exemption applies, but is qualified, this means that the public authority must decide whether the public interest in using the exemption outweighs the public interest in releasing the information.
If an applicant is unhappy with the Trust’s refusal to disclose information requested, they can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), after first exhausting any internal review procedure within the Trust.
Information must also be published through the Trust’s publication scheme which is available on the Trust’s website. The ICO website provides a definition document on information that the Trust should provide. A link to the definitions document can be found below.
The Act is fully retrospective and applies to all information, not just information filed since the Act came into force.
The Trust also provides information for two other ‘access to information’ regulations:
Most of the information we make routinely available can be accessed through our website by using the search facility. Such information is continually updated. If you cannot find information through the search engine and we have indicated in the definition document that the information is routinely available this may be because the information cannot be loaded onto our website. In such circumstances please contact the;
Freedom of Information Officer
Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
and ask for the information to be provided to you. A fees notice may be issued.
Information Commissioners Freedom of Information Definitions Document
Information Commissioners Freedom of Information Model Publication Scheme