Freedom of Information

Article Index

3 FOI Publication scheme
3.1 Definition and purpose

Under section 19 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 it is the duty of every public authority to produce a publication scheme which outlines the information that the authority publishes or plans to publish (in this context, 'publish' means to make publicly available on a routine basis). The authority also has a duty to inform the public how this information can be accessed and what charges (if any) will be made.

According to section 19(2) of the Act, the publication scheme must:

  1. specify classes of information which the public authority publishes or intends to publish
  2. specify the manner in which information in each class is, or is intended to be, published
  3. specify whether the material is, or is intended to be, available to the public free of charge or on payment
3.2 The Inner Temple publication scheme

In the case of the Inner Temple, the publication scheme relates only to information produced by the Sub-Treasurer of the Inner Temple in his capacity as a local authority and does not extend to information generated by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple as a private body. Since the local government functions are few and in most cases integrally linked with other Inner Temple activities, the Inner Temple publication scheme is more limited than those of other local authorities.

3.3 Access to and charges for information released under FOI act
Information included in publication scheme

Information specified in the publication scheme relating to the Sub-Treasurer's local authority functions will be made available to the public in response to postal or email request or by personal visit. There will be no charge for access to this information although, if relevant, photocopies supplied will incur a charge of 20p per page. For conservation reasons some records may be considered unsuitable for photocopying.

Information not included in publication scheme

From 1 January 2005, the public will have the right to request certain information concerning the Inn's local government functions not already made available through its publication scheme. Requests, which will need to be made in writing, entailing research in the Inn's records by Inner Temple staff, will be charged at rates to be set by the Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA). Enquirers should bear in mind that information exempt under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act or the Data Protection Act may not be released.

Photocopying and research charges will be subject to review after 12 months of operation.

3.4 Arrangement of publication scheme

The Inner Temple's publication scheme has been structured in classes which represent the local government responsibilities exercised by the Sub-Treasurer of the Inner Temple in his capacity as a local authority. In regard to local government functions delegated to the City Corporation under the Temples Order of 1971 (see 2.5 above), enquiries should be made to the Corporation of London

The publication scheme classes are as follows:

  • Environmental protection
  • Licensing (events and liquor)
  • Paving and lighting [although roads within the Temple are classified as private roads]
  • Planning (except development plans and listed buildings)
  • Public health and safety
  • Refuse collection
  • Water supply

 

3.5 Publication scheme
ClassDescriptionManner of accessFee
Environmental protection Information concerning action taken to implement Post/email enquiry see section 3.3
Licensing (events and liquor) Information concerning the application for and granting of licences Post/email enquiry see section 3.3
Paving and lighting Information concerning identity of contractors and annual payments for maintenance and repairs Post/email enquiry see section 3.3
Planning regulations(excluding historic buildings) Information concerning nature of building projects undertaken under planning regulation(excluding costs) Post/email enquiry; or via web-site see section 3.3
Public health and safety Information concerning action taken to implement public health and safety acts Post/email enquiry; or via web-site see section 3.3
Refuse collection Information concerning identity of contractors and annual payments for collection Post/email enquiry; or via web-site see section 3.3
Water supply Information concerning identity of contractors and annual payments for supply and maintenance Post/email enquiry; or via web-site see section 3.3
3.6 Information not covered by the publication scheme

From 1 January 2005, the public will have the right, under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, to request information held by a public authority which is not already made available through its publication scheme. Requests will need be made in writing and the local authority should respond to such requests within 20 working days. A charge may be payable for the extraction of information in response to such enquiries (see 3.3 above). Certain information which is exempt under the terms of the Act may not be released. In these circumstances the Inner Temple will endeavour to explain the nature of the exemption.

3.7 Further information and complaints

Any questions, comments or complaints about the publication scheme or access under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be addressed in writing initially to the Sub-Treasurer:
Sub-Treasurer
Treasury Office
Inner Temple
London EC4Y 7HL
email: subtreasurer@innertemple.org.uk

If the Inner Temple is unable to resolve a complaint to the satisfaction of the complainant, the complaint may be referred to the Information Commissioner at the following address:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
email: data@dataprotection.gov.uk

More information about the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is available on the Information Commissioner's web-site: www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk