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Freedom of Information Act 2000

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 promotes openness and accountability in public sector organisations such as Medway Council.

It gives everyone the right to see information held by us, so that there is a better understanding of:

  • how we carry out our duties
  • why decisions are made
  • how public money is spent.

Information we regularly publish

We make a lot of information readily available online. This is called our publication scheme, or you can search this website for information.

If you can't find the information you are looking for, you can ask for it through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request.

Make a FoI request

You can make a request by emailing freedom@medway.gov.uk or if you would prefer to make a request by letter, post it to:
Information Governance Team, Legal Services, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR.

A Freedom of Information request has to be answered within 20 working days of the council receiving it.

We will either provide the information you have asked for or let you know if we:

  • do not hold the information you want
  • if it is already publicly available (where/who you can obtain it from)
  • if any fee/charge applies
  • if some or all of the information cannot be released and why

Most FoI requests are processed free of charge, but we will require a fee if finding the information will take more than 18 hours of work. If we do require a fee you will be told how much this will be before we provide information.

Information that cannot be released

On some occasions we may have a good reason for withholding information you have asked for.

The Act contains a number of exemptions, which fall into two categories - 'absolute' or 'qualified'.

If information falls into the 'absolute' category the council is not obliged to release it.

If information falls into the 'qualified' category it means we have to decide whether it is in the public interest to release or withhold the information.

There are various reasons why information may be withheld. Some examples are where:

  • we intend to publish the information in future
  • the law says we must not release it
  • it would breach confidentiality or the Data Protection Act
  • it would harm law enforcement and investigations, health and safety, or national security.

If we decide to withhold information we will tell you why and explain your rights to a review.

Find out about exemptions in detail on the Ministry of Justice website.

If you are not satisfied with the response

If you disagree with any exemptions applied to your FoI request or are not satisfied with how we have handled your request, you are entitled to a review. You will be advised on how to ask for a review when your request is answered.