The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into effect on 1 January 2005. The aim of the Act is to open up the inner workings of government departments and public bodies - some of whom may have preferred to keep information to themselves. The general principle is that people have a right to know and should not have to demonstrate a need to know.
The Act states specifically:
'Any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled:
(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, and
(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him'.
The request must be dealt with within 20 working days.
The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham prides itself on openness and transparency. We will do our best to respond positively and efficiently to all requests for information. There are some exemptions which are laid down in the Act but, as a general rule, we will provide information wherever possible.
Barking and Dagenham have adopted the Information Commissioner's Model Publication Scheme.