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Freedom of information

Background
Making a request for information
Transferring requests
Consultation with third parties
Fees
Timescales
Complaints procedure
Disclosure log

Background

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’) requires public authorities like the Legal Services Board (LSB) to adopt a publication scheme.

The LSB’s Publication Scheme sets out the information that we will routinely make available to the public, where and when that information is available, and whether there will be a charge for that information.

If the information you seek is not available under our Publication Scheme, then you can make a request for the information in accordance with the Act. This provides that, subject to certain defined exceptions, any person making a request for information from us is entitled:

  • to be informed in writing whether we hold information of the description specified in the request; and
  • if we do, to have that information communicated to them.

Our disclosure log contains details of responses to information requests received by the LSB in the past. It may be that this contains some or all of the information that you require.

If your request relates to personal information about you, please refer to the LSB’s Privacy Statement.

The independent Information Commissioner is responsible for promoting good practice and ensuring compliance with the Act. The Information Commissioner’s Office is the leading source of guidance about the Act:

The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

T: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45
W: http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Making a request for information

If you want to make a request for information from the LSB, then you should write to us providing:

  • your name;
  • your return address; and
  • a detailed description of the information that you are requesting.

You can submit your request to boardsecretary@legalservicesboard.org.uk or:

Board Secretary
Legal Services Board
One Kemble Street
London
WC2B 4AN

Please direct any request for assistance in completing your request for information to boardsecretary@legalservicesboard.org.uk or 020 7271 0070.

Transferring requests

If you have made a request for information that we believe is held by another public authority, it may be appropriate for you to submit a new request directly to that public authority. Alternatively, we may transfer your request to that public authority. Where we decide that it is appropriate to transfer your request to another public authority, we will first check that it holds the information that you have requested.

If you wish to be notified before we transfer your request for information to another public authority, you should state this in your application.

Consultation with third parties

We may need to consult third parties (including one or more other public authorities) in order to reach a decision about whether the requested information can be released.

If you wish to be notified before we consult a third party about your request for information, you should state this in your application.

Fees

Although the LSB is a public authority, it is funded by way of a levy on the Approved Regulators. Accordingly, we will charge a fee for complying with a request for information in accordance with The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

If the cost of locating, retrieving and extracting the information is £450 or less, we may charge only for disbursements including photocopying, printing and postage costs. If the cost is more than £450, we are not obliged to comply with your request. However, we will consider whether it is possible to provide any information within the cost ceiling of £450. We will also consider whether it is reasonable to answer your request and charge an appropriate fee.

You will be notified in advance about any fee that you must pay to the LSB.

Timescales

We are required to respond to your request for information promptly, and generally within 20 working days from the day after the date on which your request was received. However, the Act provides that extra time may be taken to respond to a request for information where, for example:

  • a fee is deemed payable, in which case the response period will be put on hold until the fee is received;
  • the request for information is being considered under a disclosure exemption to which the public interest test applies, in which case the response period may be extended by a ‘reasonable period’. However, we will tell you within the response period which exemption we believes applies, and we will give you an estimate of the date by which we expect to reach a decision regarding the application of this exemption.

Complaints procedure

If you are dissatisfied with our response to your request for information (including a decision to charge a fee), you are invited to discuss the response directly with the person who dealt with your request.

However, if this informal discussion does not resolve your complaint, then you should submit your complaint in writing to Neil.Buckley@legalservicesboard.org.uk or:

Chief Executive
Legal Services Board
One Kemble Street
London
WC2B 4AN

The Chief Executive will consider your complaint, and will confirm, reverse or amend the decision. You will be advised in writing of the outcome of your complaint.

If you are dissatisfied with the Chief Executive’s decision, then you should direct your complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Version: 2.0 February 2010