The Freedom of Information Act (FOI) Act (2000) allows anyone, anywhere in the world to access recorded information held by public authorities, like Pennine Care.
The Act puts two key obligations on public authorities:
- An obligation to proactively publish information as part of our Publication Scheme (see below for more information), and
- A duty to respond to requests from members of the public to access recorded information held by us
The purpose of the Act is to ensure that public authorities are transparent (regarding how they work, regarding their spending and their decision making) and are accountable.
Compliance with the FOI Act is monitored by the Information Commissioner's Office (the ICO).
Under the FOI Act, public sector organisations, like us, have to routinely publish information whenever possible.
The Information Commissioner, who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the FOI Act has drawn up what is called a Model Publication Scheme for all public sector organisations which we have adopted, and formally commit to.
The Commissioner has also published a Definition Document for NHS Organisations which outlines his minimum expectations for disclosure.
We have reviewed the information we routinely put into the public domain to ensure we are compliant with the Definition Document. By referring to our Publication Scheme Guide to Information, you will be able to see where we do not hold relevant information, or where for some reason we have decided not to routinely disclose information identified in the Definition document.
Most of the information we make routinely available can be accessed through our website by using the search facility. Such information is continually updated. If you cannot find information through the search engine, and we have indicated in the Guide to Information that the information is routinely available this may be because the information cannot be loaded onto our website. In such circumstances please contact the Freedom of Information team using the details below.
Accessing information not already available on our publication scheme
As an open and transparent organisation we are committed to routinely publishing as much information as possible; however if you want information that is not on our website, you may ask us for it in accordance with further provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) and of the Environmental Information Regulations (2004). Requests for such information should be sent to the Information Governance Department using the contact details below.
By law we have to deal with such requests within 20 working days (although there are some circumstances in which this can be extended). If you make a request and are not satisfied with the way in which we deal with it you may ask us to review any decision we make. If you wish us to undertake such a review you should write to the Information Governance Department at the address above.
Any review will normally be under the control and direction of a senior member of staff who had no involvement in the original decision or process
If you remain dissatisfied at the conclusion of any review you may complain to the Information Commissioner whose address is: www.ico.gov.uk
We are committed to openness and transparency, however, it should be noted that confidential, personal information is not available under the Freedom of Information Act. Also, where the requested information could cause harm to a person, the Trust, or another organisation, the information may not be provided.
Method of reply
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, we will attempt to provide the information you have requested in the format and language of your preference. However, there may be circumstances that prevent us from doing this. When this happens, we will inform you of this.
The Freedom of Information Act and the associated fees regulations stipulate that we cannot levy a fee for information unless there is a statutory basis for doing so, or the amount of time taken to locate the information exceeds 18 hours.
However we are allowed to charge for disbursements related to the provision of information, and any reformatting requested by the applicant provided we ensure that applicants are aware of any charges which may be made. While the Trust does not routinely make charges for disbursments, if we consider charging necessary and appropriate we will aim to let you know as soon as possible.
In line with our publication scheme, we publish our previous responses under the Freedom of Information Act on our website
In line with the S.45 Freedom of Information Code of Practice, we publish our annual and quarterly FOI compliance reports.