What is it?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 allows anyone to ask us to release information we hold on any particular subject.

We are obliged to provide the information unless there are good reasons not to. There are over twenty reasons recognised by the act, including:

  • The information will cost too much to collect
  • It is available elsewhere
  • We intend to publish it in the future
  • It is about a living person
  • The information was collected for the purpose of investigations or proceedings which we are entitled to conduct, such as enforcement

In many cases, we will have to decide whether the public interest in not releasing the information is stronger than the public interest in releasing it.

The current FOI Code of Practice was issued by the Cabinet Office in July 2018 and is the basis upon which we adhere to the Act. There is an equivalent EIR Code of Practice which is available directly from the ICO.

Publication Scheme

Monmouthshire County Council has adopted the Information Commissioner’s model publication scheme. It sets out the kinds of information that the Council intends to make routinely available. The intention is that this information should be easy for the authority and any individual to find and use.

More information can be found at What information do we need to publish? on the ICO’s website.

Help yourself…

To some of the more common freedom of information requests we receive we publish the information on the website.

  • Disclosure Log – we publish the responses to requests we receive frequently on the FOI Disclosure Log page.
  • Public Health Burials – we publish this information on the cemeteries and burials page.
  • Planning Pre-applications – If the Local Planning Authority receives a request, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) or Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), to disclose information relating to this pre-application enquiry they are obliged to do so unless the information is deemed exempt under the Act.  Note: We can only withhold information under FOI or EIR if the information falls under one of the exemptions (FOI) or exceptions (EIR) set out in legislation. For certain pre-application issues the applicant would be advised to complete the commercially sensitive checklist that should set out the reasons why, and for how long, they feel any information relating to the case needs to remain confidential. However, whilst we will take account of these views, the final decision on whether the information should be withheld rests with the Council. The Council maintains compliance to the Data Protection Act and we will not release any personal information to third parties.  

Alternatively, it may be worth checking previous Freedom of Information requests submitted via What Do They Know

Please note, following a decision of the First Tier Information Rights Tribunal EA/2018/0033(External link – Opens in a new tab or window), the Authority no longer publishes business rates data on its open data web page. It will no longer disclose information about business rate accounts in response to FOI requests.

Compliance Rates

We aim to respond to all information requests within 20 working days.

Statistics on how often we meet this goal, as well as the information on how many information requests we’ve received, and how they’re responded to, can be found in the document linked below (updated quarterly).

Making a request

You can submit a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by emailing us at foi@monmouthshire.gov.uk or via our online form below.

When you submit your request, we record your data for the purposes of processing your request. This is held on our ‘My Monmouthshire’ customer information system. Please see our Privacy Policy and Website Cookies for further information.

Charges for EIRs

In some circumstances we are permitted to charge a fee for Environmental Information Regulation 2004 requests.

Local Land Charges information is charged at £38 per hour / £9.50 per 15 minutes or part of

Internal Reviews

If you are not satisfied with the way the Council has handled for your request for information, you can request a review within 40 working days of receipt of the request. Full details can be found in our Internal Review document.

Submit an FOI request

Alternatively

  • By email to: foi@monmouthshire.gov.uk
  • By letter to: Freedom of Information, Monmouthshire County Council, County Hall, The Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA (please note that all FOI staff are working from home and do not have regular access to post)

You can read a useful guide to requesting information on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.