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Freedom of Information

1. Introduction

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information, with some exemptions, held by public authorities. One of the responsibilities under the Act is to produce and maintain a publication scheme, which is designed to allow easy access to information not routinely available from other sources.

The publication scheme must set out the types of information the authority publishes, the format(s) in which it is available and details of any charges incurred.

The Publication Scheme for Derry City and Strabane District will be available here

Anyone can make a request for information, although the request must be made in writing (email acceptable). 

2. What information can be requested?

You can make a request to see, or to have copies of, any records which are held by Derry City and Strabane District Council. However some records may not be available if they are covered by an exemption. There are two categories of exempt information under the Act: non-absolute exemptions and absolute exemptions. Where we are claiming an exemption under the Act, we must inform you of the specific exemption which we are claiming and why it applies, within 20 working days. If the information requested is covered by an absolute exemption, we do not have to consider disclosing it in the public interest, nor do we have to state whether or not we hold the information in question. If the information requested is covered by a non-absolute exemption, we have to consider the public interest in disclosing information. Derry City and Strabane District Council may disclose information, even where an exemption applies, if the public interest in disclosure outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exemption.

3. How do I make a request for information?

Your request must be in writing, including emails, giving details of your contact information, address and a detailed description of the information that you are requesting.  (See below)

4. When will I receive the information?

We will respond to requests promptly and in any event, within 20 working days. If a charge applies or if additional information is required to deal with the request, this may lengthen the response time. In cases where information is covered by an exemption, but we are required to consider the public interest in releasing it, we will endeavour to provide the information, wherever possible, within the 20 working day target. However, if consideration of the public interest test is likely to cause delay, the applicant will be informed by the earliest opportunity. 

5. Will there be a charge?

Derry City and Strabane District Council believes strongly in openness so we will attempt to keep the cost of information as low as possible. There is no charge for making a request and if applicable, the charge will only apply before you are granted access to the records.  Where it is necessary to charge for information, this will be made in accordance with the published schedule of fees which is available on the website through the publication scheme. You will be informed of any charges when you make your request.

6. Can I appeal against the decision?

You have rights of review and appeal against our decisions or if you are generally dissatisfied with the way your request has been handled. These rights consist of two review processes. Firstly, by using our internal complaints procedure, which is available by contacting the: Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council and secondly, by appealing direct to the Office of the Information Commissioner: Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Note: The Information Commissioner expects that the internal complaints procedure is completed before an appeal is made.

7. Where do I send my request for information?

The contact details for submitting your request in writing to Derry City and Strabane District Council is: [email protected]

Alternatively you can write to

Freedom of Information:

Derry Office Strabane Office
98 Strand Road
Derry~Londonderry 
BT48 7NN
Tel:  +44(0)28 71 253 253
47 Derry Rd
Strabane
BT82 8DY
Tel:  +44(0)28 71 253 253