How to make a Freedom of Information Act request
Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives the public the right to request to see or be provided with a copy of information that is held by a public body. The Act also places an obligation on authorities to publish certain information about their activities.
How to make a request
Requests for information under the Act must be made in writing and can be submitted using any of the following methods:
Corporate Information Governance Team
You don't have to fill out a form, as an email is enough if it includes your name and contact information. However, you might still find the document below helpful.
You can make EIR requests verbally, but the department will confirm in writing to ensure they understand the specific data you are asking for.
What we need to know
- your full name
- (forename & surname please)
- your email or postal address
- (to be able to provide a response and contact you with any queries or to provide advice and assistance)
- a clear description of the information you are looking for
If it is not clear what the information is that you require, we will contact you to clarify your request.
If you need help with your request or you're unsure about what to ask for, you can find guidance on the Information Commissioner's website here.
Frequently requested information
Before submitting a Freedom of Information request, please check whether the information you are looking for is already publicly available. Much information is published proactively by the Council on its Publication Scheme.
In addition to this, the Data Mill North site (used as our open data portal) contains a number of frequently requested datasets, including:
- Business Rates
- a comprehensive list of all current non-domestic (business) rates accounts
- Public Health Funerals
- funerals of individuals who have died or been found dead in Wakefield District and have no suitable funeral arrangements
- Brownfield Land
- register of previously developed, brownfield land considered to be appropriate for housing development
Data Mill North also contains our Transparency Code datasets, including:
- spend Items Over £500
- senior Salaries
- land/Buildings Assets
Will I receive the information requested?
The Freedom of Information Act has exemptions that let public bodies keep information private. Some exemptions are absolute, and others are qualified.
Absolute exemptions cover things like personal information or confidentiality breaches. Qualified exemptions need a public interest test.
The test favours disclosure, but if the public interest in withholding the information is greater than the public interest in disclosing it, then the information may be withheld. If an exemption is used, a refusal notice is given, explaining which exemption was used and the reasons why.
What if I am dissatisfied with the response?
If you are unhappy with the information provided in response to your request, you can ask for an Internal Review. This step must be taken before making a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.
Please see Wakefield Council’s Internal Review Procedure for further information.
For information about how the Council processes personal data see our FOI Privacy Notice.
Corporate Information Governance County Hall Bond Street Wakefield WF1 2QW