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Transparency and data information

COVID-19 Update

In line with ICO guidance, we would advise that when making information rights requests, delays to responses may be experienced at this time.  This is due to resources being diverted away from day to day compliance work, to provide support during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Click here for further information regarding this legislation.

You can ask for unpublished information held by us by making a written request. We will review your request in accordance with our policy and respond to you accordingly within 20 working days.

Our Publication Scheme and Guide to Information set out information we routinely make available. You may wish to look at these documents before making your request.

Environmental Information Regulations 2004

Click here for further information regarding this legislation.

If your request for information relates to environmental information such as land, air or noise, this will be dealt with in accordance with our policy.

Please note the Council may charge for requests which take longer than two hours to locate, retrieve and extract information and for the cost of printing information. Click here for more information about the charges.

Making a request for information 

To make a request, please email: FOI@stalbans.gov.uk. For postal enquiries, please write to:

Freedom of Information Team
St Albans District Council
Civic Centre
St Peters Street
St Albans
AL1 3JE

Internal Review

When an individual has made a request under FOIA or EIR, they can apply for a review of the decision (including failure to respond) under the Internal Review procedure

The Openness Regulations 2014

The Regulations are designed to promote the transparency and accountability of local authorities to their local communities.

The policy and procedure sets out how St Albans City and District Council has implemented the Regulations.

Local Government Transparency Code 2015

The code requires councils to publish specific data and information. All of the information published in accordance with this code is available for re-use under the terms of the Government Open Licence for Public Sector Information.  For information regarding the data we publish, please see below.

Open Data Section

Procurement card spend

The procurement card spend document will set out all procurement card transactions on a quarterly basis.

The procurement card, is a purchasing card that is issued to selected senior and emergency planning team employees who can then acquire goods and services. This is used where suppliers require payment prior to providing the goods or services or where emergency items are required. This means that purchases can be made without having to process the transaction through the traditional purchasing procedure, such as using purchase requisitions or purchase orders. 

The information in this publication forms part of the Council's commitment to being open and transparent. This data is freely re-usable under the terms the Open Government License (OGL).

The procurement card spend document will set out all procurement card transactions on a quarterly basis. 

Finance - Open Data

Non Domestic Rates (Business Rates) Freedom of Information Requests

St Albans District Council receives a number of requests of a similar nature for information which relates to Business Rates/Council Tax accounts. To address these requests we are now publishing specific information on:

Whilst an individual can make a request for similar information, we will generally refer individuals to this webpage.

Limitations on Data:

Ratepayers names and correspondence addresses are only provided for Limited Companies and Government Bodies and not for individuals (sole traders, partnerships…). Data Protection prevents the publication of individual names because they are personal data. Account references are not included as these are personal to the account, and are used to ensure that a ratepayer is actually the account holder when they contact the Council.

Empty Properties:

We will consider any request for information on its individual facts, however, you may like to consider the following before applying for empty property details.

In accordance with the Tribunal case of Mr C P England and London Borough of Bexley v ICO (EA/2006/0060 & 0066) and the more recent decision of the Tribunal in Yiannis Voyias v Information Commissioner and the London Borough of Camden (EA/2011/0007 23.1.13).  The Tribunal stated in Voyias case that the exemption in section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to requests for full lists if empty properties.  Under this section information is exempt from disclosure where disclosure would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime and disorder.  We consider that placing information about unoccupied premises into the public domain would significantly increase the risk of theft vandalism and criminal damage, unlawful occupation and other crimes to these properties. Both of these case deal predominantly with residential empty properties and we note that in determining any information requests.

Taking into account the Information Commissioner’s recent decisions, the public interest test will normally fall in favour of releasing empty commercial property information.  Therefore we will normally release the commercial/business rates information, subject to redacting personal data (s40 FOIA).