Making a request for information

Access recorded information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 are legislations that allow the public to access non-personal information held by the council, creating openness and transparency.

The Legislation applies to all recorded information held by the council. 

Most requests we receive fall under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. Some fall under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)

Information we publish

The information you want may be available on this website. View the information we have published.

Your personal information

If you wish to request information that Oxfordshire County Council hold about you, this is referred to as a Subject Access Request. 

Find out how to request and amend your personal information.

Writing an effective request

Under FOIA and EIR, anyone may request recorded information held by the council. You do not need to know which act covers your request.

When making your request, you must 

  • Supply your real name. 
  • A correspondence address we can use for correspondence, this can be email or postal.
  • Clearly describe the information you are requesting to enable the council to locate it. 

What happens when you send your request

On receipt of a valid request, we will:

  • respond to your request within 20 working days in accordance to FOIA and EIR.
  • provide you with part or all of the information you have requested
  • inform you if we do not hold the information and offer advice and assistance.
  • refuse your request and explain the reasons why your request has been refused.

Upon completion of your request, your response will be sent to you using the correspondence address you have provided. 

Refusals and exemptions

Occasionally, requests may involve staff in a great deal of work because information is not held in a way that makes it easy to supply and answer a request. 

In this case, the council can refuse it under exemptions in the Act or Regulations, but the council will always try to suggest information that we are able to provide, which will take less time. 

The council may also aggregate several requests on the same subject (from the same requester) together, and if the request exceeds the appropriate cost limit, we may refuse the request altogether. 

The council may also refuse vexatious and repeated requests or refuse to provide information because the request is manifestly unreasonable. 

We may also refuse to supply information we consider that it is exempt from disclosure (pdf format, 96 KB). There are a number of exemptions in the Act, which are mirrored by similar exceptions in the Regulations. 

Charges for information

All information on our website is available for free. 

If your request is for a large amount of information, the council should consider if complying with the request would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ as set out in the legislation. The Fees Regulation states that the appropriate limit for the council is £450. This is calculated at 18 hours of work at a cost of £25 per hour per person. 

Parliament has set out the charges we can make for some information. You may be asked to pay for:

  • photocopying
  • postage and packaging
  • the costs incurred as a result of viewing information.

How to appeal a decision or make a complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you may ask for an internal review. Our initial response will provide you with how to request an internal review.  

The role of the Information Commissioner’s Office

If, following an internal review, you are still not satisfied with the way the council responded to your request, you may complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. The Information Commissioner’s Office is an independent regulator and will consider whether the council has responded within the timescales, whether the council carried out its duty to advise and assist, and whether the council applied the exemptions appropriate, and explain any refusal. 

Start your request

You must provide your real name to make a request for information. We need an email address so that we can contact you.

Request information

Compliance data

This information (pdf format, 85 KB) shows how the council has handled FOI and EIR requests it has received

If you cannot use the online form, contact us with the details below.

Freedom of Information Team
County Hall
Oxford
OX1 1ND

foi@oxfordshire.gov.uk