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Freedom of information - access to information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) gives individuals the right to access information held by public bodies.

Information Commissioner’s Office and legislation.gov.uk provide more information.

How do I ask for information?

Email: information@iow.gov.uk.

Write to us: You can make a request by post and send it to:

Corporate Information Unit, Legal Services, County Hall, High Street, Newport, IW PO30 1UD.

It must state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence and describe the information required. 

When a request for information is received, you are entitled to be informed by us whether we hold the information and to receive a response within 20 working days.

Will there be a fee?

Whilst we can charge a fee for paper copies of information, we rarely do. Fees can be charged for disbursements only, photocopying (standard rates apply) and postage, for example.

Most FOIs are submitted by email and are dealt with free of charge.

We can refuse to give you the information you request if:

  • the cost of providing the information exceeds £450 (based on 18 hours at a cost of £25 per hour)
  • we do not hold the information you are looking for
  • the information is exempt from disclosure under the Act
  • your request is considered vexatious or repeated.

Guidance can be found on the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO’s) website.

Business Rates

We receive similar requests relating to Business Rates. We promote information relating to:

  • full list of non-domestic properties on the island (rateable value, current reliefs, empty property relief/exemption) every 6 months
  • new account liabilities created on a monthly basis.

Timescale

We are required to issue a response within 20 working days of the date of receipt. Any further information needed from the applicant will pause the request until received. We are able to extend the timescale when considering an exemption that requires consideration of the public interest test. If this is the case, the applicant will be notified accordingly.

Exemptions

The Act does include some exemptions to protect certain types of information. A full list is provided on the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.

The most common exemptions include:

  • section 21 – information already publicly available
  • section 40 – personal Information
  • section 41 – information provided in confidence
  • section 42 – legally privileged information
  • section 43 – commercial Interests.

Contact information

Legal Services

Corporate Information Unit
Legal Services
Floor 1
County Hall
High Street
Newport
Isle of Wight
PO30 1UD

Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5.00pm
Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm