Two important pieces of legislation came into effect on 1 January 2005 – the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. The legislation gives you the right to request information from all public sector organisations, including your local Council. This legislation is intended to promote a culture of openness and accountability among public sector organisations, and therefore improve your understanding of how these organisations carry out their duties and spend public money. The legislation gives people a general right of access to as much official information as possible, bearing in mind the need to keep certain information confidential.
One of the responsibilities under the Act for all public authorities is to produce and maintain a publications scheme, which allows easy access to information not routinely available from other sources. The publication scheme sets out the types of information the authority publishes, the formats in which it is available and details of any charges for access to it. See 'Publications' in the right hand column.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, every public authority must publish and maintain a Publication Scheme which sets out the information they routinely make available to members of the public. Banbridge District Council has adopted the model publication scheme which has been prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner, who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, and is valid until further notice. This publication scheme commits an authority to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities. Click here to view or download information about the Information Commissioner's Office model publication scheme.