Access to Information
SEELB is a transparent and open organisation and we publish a great deal of information about what we do on this website which you can access by using the site search facility on our web pages. However there may be other issues about which you would like further information and in this part of our website we explain how you can get such information.
In order to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 public sector organisations such as ours have to routinely publish information whenever possible.
The Information Commissioner, who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, has drawn up what is called a Model Publication Scheme for all public sector organisations which we have decided to adopt and formally commit to.
The Commissioner has also published a Definition Document for ELBs in Northern Ireland which sets out in some detail what his minimum expectations are as far as we are concerned.
Accessing information which is not included in the Publication Scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Reulations 2005.
As an open and transparent organisation we are committed to routinely publishing as much information as possible; however if you want information which is not on our website or otherwise, you may ask us for it in accordance with further provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and of the Environmental Information Regulations 2005.
By law we have to deal with such requests within 20 working days. If you make a request and are not satisfied with the way in which we deal with it you may ask us to review any decision we make. If you wish us to undertake such a review you should write to the address at the bottom of this page.
Any review will normally be under the control and direction of a senior member of staff who had no involvement in the original decision or process.
If you remain dissatisfied at the conclusion of any review you may complain to the Information Commissioner at www.ico.org.uk.
What we charge for providing information under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act
Most information contained within our FOI Publication Scheme is downloadable free of charge from our website. If it is not downloadable or if you are unable to download it and you ask us for copies, we may charge for the cost of photocopying/printing and postage. If we are going to charge, we will let you know the cost when you contact us.
If you request information outside the Publication Scheme, we are allowed to charge a fee. If we reasonably estimate that the cost of providing the information is greater than £450 (as set down in the FOI Appropriate Limit and Fees Regulations 2004) we do not have to provide it. This figure is known as the ‘appropriate limit’. If the cost exceeds the appropriate limit, we must tell you, except in some specific cases, if we hold the information, and how the cost has been estimated.
We also have a duty to assist you so we will contact you to see if you can refine your request so that the cost of providing the information is less than £450.
If the cost of providing the information is less than £450, unless the information falls under one of the exemptions in the FOI Act, we must provide it to you within 20 working days of receipt of your request. We may charge you for printing and photocopying costs, for postage costs and, if you have asked for the information in a particular way that will incur additional costs, we may charge those costs to you.
Although we are not obliged to provide information if the cost is greater than £450, we may choose to do so if you agree to pay it. In this case, we will charge for the cost of determining, locating, retrieving and extracting the information, and postage and photocopying costs, including staff time. Staff time will be charged at a rate of £25 per hour.
In all cases where we intend to charge a fee, we will advise you of the cost of the fee in advance so that you can decide whether or not you wish to continue with your request.