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Freedom of Information Policy

Last updated: 19 December 2012

Introduction

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into effect on 1 January 2005. The National Army Museum is named as a public authority by the Act 2000 and must comply with it.

This document sets out the policy regarding the Museum's compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Scope

The aim of this policy is to provide a framework for responding to information requests to ensure compliance with relevant legislation.

This policy applies to all information created, received or held by staff in connection with their work at the Museum.

Background

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 states that the public can make a request to access information held by the Museum. Requests must be in writing, however the Museum will provide appropriate assistance to enable anyone to make a request. The response will be provided within 20 working days subject to exemptions as defined by the Act.

Requests for information relating to the natural, historic or built environment are covered by the Environmental Information Regulations. Requests for information can be made verbally and must be answered within 20 working days.

Information can be in any form, created or received by the Museum in the transaction of its business, or in the conduct of its affairs, and retained as evidence of such activity. This encompasses different types of media, from traditional paper-based records through to emails, databases, microfilm, video, etc. All records created and received by staff in the course of the Museum's business are owned by the Council of the National Army Museum.

The Museum Publication Scheme will be published on the Museum's website. The Publication Scheme will provide a comprehensive guide to the information routinely published by the Museum.

Legal Basis

The Museum will provide information when requested in compliance with the following legislation:

  • The Freedom of Information Act, 2000
  • The Environmental Information Regulations, 2004

Responsibilities

Legal responsibility for Freedom of Information - Director General - Responsible for the Museum’s actions if the case goes to court.

FOI Officer - Records Officer - Responsible for coordinating and monitoring information requests received by the Museum, monitoring and updating the Publication Scheme, and providing advice when necessary.

FOI Senior Officer - Access and Outreach Manager - Responsible for supporting FOI compliance at the Museum and providing advice when necessary.

FOI Review Officer - Museum Director - Responsible for leading the Review Committee and making a decision in the case of an appeal.

All staff have a responsibility to ensure the Records Officer is made aware of all FOI requests and that they are answered within 20 working days.

Fees

In some instances the Museum may charge a fee to offset the cost of responding to a request. The Fee Regulations state that the cost limit is £450. Costs are set at £25 per person per hour regardless to actual rate of pay. This means the cost limit would be exceeded after 18 hours work.

When information is provided as copies of documents, photographs, film, etc the Museum reserves the right to charge the current fee for reproductions. This will be requested prior to the information being provided.

Procedures & Advice

Relevant best practice policies, procedures and guidelines will be made available on the Museum Intranet. For any specific advice contact the Museum Records Officer.

This policy will be used in conjunction with the Enquiries Policy and Museum Publication Scheme.

Complaints and Appeals

If you are not happy with the reply to your request or the way your request has been handled by the National Army Museum, you are entitled to follow the appeal and complaints procedure. First you should seek an internal review conducted by the Museum. Requests for internal reviews should be directed to the Museum Director. If you are still unhappy with the Museum’s response, you may seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner:

Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF

www.ico.gov.uk

Policy Review

The Freedom of Information Policy will be reviewed in five years. The next review is May 2016.

Date of Approval

Approved at the meeting of the Management Team on 10 May 2011.

Information & Enquiries

Contact the General Enquiries desk: