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Freedom of Information

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 came into effect on 1 January 2005. It gives you the right to access information held by public authorities. Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation complies with the obligations set out in The Act.

What does this mean in practice?

Since January 2005, all public authorities in the UK must:

  • Reply to written requests for information.
  • Confirm whether or not they hold the information requested.

If you make a request for information, you can expect to be provided with that information unless it is subject to one of the exemptions in The Act. The information may be held in any form, for example emails, paper documents or video recordings. The legislation is retrospective.

Who can make a request for information under FOI?

Any person or organisation anywhere in the world can make a request under FOI. You do not have to be a UK citizen or live in the UK to use The Act.

Does FOI apply to personal information?

FOI applies to all public sector information. Information which concerns living individuals is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998. Information which concerns deceased individuals is covered by the FOI.

Does FOI apply to environmental information?

Environment information is covered by the Environmental Information Regulations Act 2004.

FOI and the Private Sector

Currently The Act does not apply to private sector information, unless that information is held for a public authority.

Accessing Information

You can get the information in two ways:

The scheme lists the information routinely made available. Please check the scheme to see if the information you want has already been published.

Written Request

Requests for information must be made in writing, which can include email. When requesting information please make sure you state your name and address.

General Enquiries

When requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 please direct your request to:

PA to Director of Resources
Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation
Gateway House
Stonehouse Lane
Purfleet
Essex
RM19 1NX

Or email, info@thurrocktgdc.org.uk.

Timescales

The Corporation will respond to written requests for information within 20 working days where it can. We will also try to provide advice to people who have made, or who are thinking of making, a request. This will help people understand their rights under the Act and identify the information they want.

Some of the exemptions outlined in the Limits on Disclosure section will require the Corporation to consider whether it is in the public interest to withhold information. In some instances consideration of the public interest may take longer than the 20 days. In these cases we will provide an estimate of when we will have reached a decision within 20 days of receiving the request.

Requests for Personal Data

The Data Protection Act 1998 governs the processing of personal data (information relating to living individuals). This makes it possible for you to request access to personal data that the Corporation may hold about you. A request for disclosure of such information is called a Subject Access Request.
Should you wish to know more about your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 you should consult the Office of the Information Commissioner's website (new window).

Limits of Disclosure

The Corporation will give the full information wherever it can, however, in certain limited circumstances, it will be necessary to retain confidentiality where it is not in the public interest to disclose. 

In any case where information is refused, we will specify which exemption is being claimed and why. All requests for information will be carefully considered with close regard to the public interest. The FOI Act provides 23 exemptions from the general rights of access, explained in detail by the Office of the Information Commissioner (new window).

If the information requested is already reasonably accessed through the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (TTGDC) publication scheme we will simply direct the applicant to the information.

Fees

You will be informed in writing If the TTGDC charges a fee.

Until you pay the fee, the 20 days target for responding to FOI requests will be put on hold.

If you do not pay the fee within three months, it is assumed that you no longer want the information.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the response, you may ask for your request to be reviewed internally by the Corporation’s Chief Information Officer at the address listed above.

If you remain unhappy, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner for a decision on the handling of your request. The Information Commissioner is an independent statutory body which oversees the operation of The Act and can be contacted at the following address:

FOI Compliance Team (Complaints)
The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

  • Information Commissioner's Office (new window)