Portsmouth City Council has always been committed to openness – it increases public confidence in our ability to serve the community and lead the city. We want to show that we are an open organisation committed to delivering the best possible public services.

Portsmouth City Council’s Freedom of Information policy ensures that the Council will:

  • comply with the FoI Act and sees it as an opportunity to enhance public trust and confidence in the Council
  • maintain a comprehensive ‘Publication Scheme’ that provides information which is readily accessible without the need for a formal FoI request
  • seek to satisfy all FoI requests promptly and within 20 working days. However, if necessary we will extend this timescale to give full consideration to a Public Interest test. If we do not expect to meet the deadline, we will inform the requester as soon as possible of the reasons for the delay and when we expect to have made a decision
  • continue to protect the personal data entrusted to us, by disclosing it only in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998
  • provide advice and assistance to requesters to facilitate their use of FoI. We will publish our procedures and assist requesters to clarify their requests so that they can obtain the information they require
  • work with partners and contractors to ensure that we can meet our FoI obligations, including the disclosure of any information that they hold on our behalf
  • apply the exemptions provided in the FoI Act and, where qualified exemptions exist, disclose the information unless the balance of public interest lies in withholding it
  • consult with third parties before disclosing information that could affect their rights and interests. However, according to the FoI Act, we must take the final decision on disclosure
  • charge for information requests in line with the FoI Fees Regulations or other applicable regulations, including the Data Protection Act 1998
  • record all FoI requests and our responses and will monitor our performance in handling requests and complaints
  • adopt good information and record management practices in line with the Lord Chancellor’s “Code of Practice on The Management of Records under section 46 of the FoI Act”
  • ensure that all permanent and contract staff are aware of their obligations under FoI, and will include FoI education in the induction of all new staff