Access to information

Government has set out the need for greater transparency across its operations to enable the public to hold public bodies and politicians to account. This includes commitments relating to public expenditure, intended to help achieve better value for money.

The Coal Authority has made the following information available as part of the agenda for Transparency in Government and its committment to the Freedom Of Information.

FOI Contents:

Last updated: December 2010

Background

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) became law on 30 November 2000. The FOI Act created new rights of access to information and came fully into force on 1 January 2005. The Act establishes a right of access to recorded information held by, and imposes obligations on, public authorities to disclose information subject to a range of exemptions. The FOI Act also establishes the arrangements for enforcement and appeal.


 

Introduction

The Publication Scheme aims to satisfy these requirements and one of the principal aims of the FOI Act namely that public authorities should be clear and pro-active about the information they will make public. Accordingly, the scheme sets out:-

As a result of the Publication Scheme Development and Maintenance Initiative the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has introduced a model publication scheme that all public sector organisations should adopt from 1 January 2009. ICO has produced a series of definition documents, including one for Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) which is applicable to the Coal Authority and identifies the type of information ICO expects to be included in each class.


 

Procedures for making requests:

The FOI Act gives applicants two related rights:-

  • the right to be told whether the information they seek exists
  • the right to receive the information and, where possible, in the manner requested, including the right for the applicant to inspect a record.

The Coal Authority acknowledges that the FOI Act is fully retrospective.

Applications under the FOI Act should be put in writing and should provide as much detail as possible to enable the information sought to be identified.

Applications can be made by:

or you may post your request to:

  • Records Management Department, The Coal Authority, 200 Lichfield Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 4RG

The Coal Authority will respond to requests for information, which do not involve the consideration of a qualified exemption, within 20 working days of the date of receipt. Charges for dealing with standard requests and supplying information are included in our list of Authority services and charges.


 

How to complain:

The FOI Act sets out a series of exemptions to protect confidential or other information where disclosure may prejudice the interests of the State or third parties. Where the Coal Authority considers that information it holds is exempt from disclosure, that decision is subject to a review process.

Where an applicant is dissatisfied with the response from the Coal Authority a request for an internal review of that decision can be made. A member of staff who was not involved with the original request will undertake the review which must normally be completed before an appeal may be made to the Information Commissioner.

The request for an internal review should be made in writing to:

or you may post your request to:

  • Corporate Manager, The Coal Authority, 200 Lichfield Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. NG18 4RG
  • t: 01623 637 250
  • f: 01623 622 072

If the applicant remains dissatisfied then an independent review can be sought from the Information Commissioner by writing to:

  • The Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
  • t: 01625 545 700
  • f: 01625 545 510
  • For further information, or if your complaint is not related to an FOI request, please see our complaints handling procedure or contact us.

 


Formats and fees:

The Coal Authority has established arrangements for the supply of Mining Reports and Mining Records. Details of the applicable charges are included in the Coal Authority´s List of Services and Charges. Copies of most items in this publication scheme can be ordered free of charge from the Coal Authority, except where indicated.

You should send your request with sufficient information to aid identity to:

Or you may post your request to:

  • Records Management Department, The Coal Authority, 200 Lichfield Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 4RG

 

Classes of information available

  1. Who we are and what we do.
  2. What we spend and how we spend it.
  3. What our priorities are and how we are doing.
  4. How we make decisions.
  5. Policies and procedures.
  6. Lists and registers.
  7. The services we offer.

 

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Important Note:

The Authority does NOT hold the following information:

  • Information relating to the Miners’ strikes
  • Personal, Training and Claim files relating to former employees of the National Coal Board / British Coal Corporation

Enquiries about such information should be addressed to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

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