The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to request any information from any public authority. It promotes openness and accountability among public sector organisations, so that everyone can understand how authorities make decisions, carry out their duties and spend public money. There are some exemptions to this general right of access. These are known as ‘absolute exemptions’ and ‘qualified exemptions’. If a qualified exemption applies, then it is subject to the public interest test. This means we must decide whether in each case it serves the public interests better to withhold or disclose the information requested.In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act Bradpole Parish Council maintains a Publication Scheme which sets out what information we routinely make available, how the information can be accessed, and whether we will make a charge to provide it.
Transparency Codes Explained
Background: the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
There are some 10000 smaller authorities in the UK (defined as an authority with a turnover of less than £6.5 million). Of these 5300 have a turnover of less than £25000.
The Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities was introduced by the Government in 2015. It is designed for Smaller Authorities with an annual turnover not exceeding £25000 whereby in the future those authorities will not be required to have their accounts externally audited.
Authorities with an annual turnover above £200,000 are bound by a Local Government Transparency Code.
For those authorities with an annual turnover of between £25,000 and £200.000 neither of the above mentioned codes is either mandatory or legally binding.
Source: Dept for Communities and Local Government ~ November 2015
Bradpole Parish Council turnover in the past couple of years has marginally exceeded £25000 and is expected to continue above this figure.
The Parish Council accounts are currently subject to an external audit and this will continue to be the case. However in the interests of openness and best practice we shall, where practical, also follow the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities which you can read by following this link: Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities