FOI request via Oxford City Council website

Lucia Romano made this Freedom of Information request to Oxford City Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Oxford City Council,

When submitting a Freedom of Information Requests via the Oxford City Council website, why is it necessary to supply a name and an address before a request can be submitted? Is there any legal obligation to supply this information?

I believe it is an infringement of privacy to request personal details and that the website should be updated to allow the requestor to remain anonymous should they wish.

Yours faithfully,

Lucia Romano

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Ms Romano,
 
Further to your email, please see below the guidance from ICO regarding
submitting Freedom of Information requests:
 
What are the legal requirements for a request?
 
For your request to be dealt with according to the Freedom of Information
Act, you must:
 
•       contact the relevant authority directly;
•       make the request in writing, for example in a letter or an email.
You can make a verbal or written request for environmental information;
•       give your real name; and
•       give an address to which the authority can reply. This can be a
postal or email address.
 
You do not have to:
 
•       mention the Freedom of Information Act or Environmental
Information Regulations, although it may help to do so;
•       know whether the information is covered by the Freedom of
Information Act or the Environmental Information Regulations; or
•       say why you want the information.
 
It is sensible to write the date on any letters or emails you send and
keep a copy, so you have a reliable record of your request. If you make a
verbal request for environmental information, we recommend that you note
who you spoke to, the date, and what information you requested, and you
may wish to follow up with a letter or email confirming your request. A
written record of a verbal request would be beneficial if you later need
to make a complaint.
 
It can be helpful to check whether the authority recommends you send your
request to a specific person or email address. Some authorities allow you
to request information via their website. You can also make a request on
social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Some other websites
allow you to contact public authorities and make a request through the
site. Check that the site will allow the public authority to respond,
otherwise it’s not a valid request.
 
If you find it impossible or unreasonably difficult to make a request in
writing, a public authority may have to make a reasonable adjustment for
you under the Equality Act 2010 (or Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in
Northern Ireland). This could mean, for example, that the public authority
has to consider treating a verbal request for information as if it was a
valid freedom of information request.
 
The ICO cannot request information from another authority on your behalf.
You should address your request directly to the authority. There is no
need to send us a copy of your request.
 
For further information on how to access information from a public body,
this is available via the following link:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/off...
 
 
Kind regards
 
Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer
 
Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City
Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Dear freedomofinformation,

You wrote:

For your request to be dealt with according to the Freedom of Information
Act, you must:

• contact the relevant authority directly;
• make the request in writing, for example in a letter or an email.
You can make a verbal or written request for environmental information;
• give your real name; and
• give an address to which the authority can reply. This can be a
postal or email address.

Why is it possible to submit a FOI request via the website www.whatdotheyknow.com without supplying a home address or contacting the relevant authority directly?

Yours sincerely,

Lucia Romano

Lucia Romano left an annotation ()

You do not need to supply a postal address in order to make an FOI request. If a public authority asks you for your full, physical address, reply to them saying that section 8.1.b of the FOI Act asks for an "address for correspondence", and that the email address you are using is sufficient.