Freedom of information (FOI) from public bodies etc

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Here's something a little bit left field that might not suit many of you! I've noticed at times that there's a lot of questions from landlords that should be specifically aimed at your local authority/council directly. Its great to ask on this and other forums and get informed advice and opinions but when you need the detail from the horses mouth try this website >> << to ask questions under the freedom of information. Can be used from anything as you'll see when you read some of the cases.

The secret to getting the most out of using a facility like this is to carefully think about what you want to know and not leaving any gaps that the Council can hide away in or that lets them avoid giving a direct answer. For example, you want information on the pay structure of social workers. Firstly, don't just ask "Give me the information for social workers pay in your authority?" or "What do social workers earn in your council?" Go a bit deeper and ask "Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I would like to ask for information relating to the exact pay structure of social workers within your authority, their duties, hours required to work, minimum or specific qualifications required. Also, as I am not aware of exactly how your authority labels its posts/job please also supply all and any information that fits within the general envelope of my requests. Thank you." Politeness and asking nicely gets everything in this game and will open your eyes to the raft of information they'll give you. Sensitive subjects are a different matter and you may be refused so think about asking about such matters in a different way.

If you click on the link above and then click on Browse Requests, followed by clicking/selecting All Requests then enter your local Councils name in the Keywords field and press Search to see what type and style of questions are asked. This is an extremely useful tool to gain information without having to deal with a council worker face to face. The questions go through an appointed FOI Officer who then approaches the relevant dept for a reply before posting back on this website for you. Far easier.
19/09/2015 16:04

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