Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information

The LEAP is not a legally distinct entity and is thereby established with the Greater London Authority as its accountable body through which it must operate.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA) gives the public the right to request information held by public authorities, including the GLA. The Act aims to ensure that public sector bodies are open and accountable and encompasses any recorded information.

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) provides a similar public right to access, and relates to environmental information held by public authorities.

When making a request for information, you do not need to specify which Act applies; we will determine the most appropriate legislation for your particular request.

For more information on the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations, please visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

Information that is already available

The GLA proactively publishes a lot of information on its website (london.gov.uk) and specific documents relating to the LEAP are published on this site under the publications section and the meetings pages. Before making a request for information, please check these pages and the following sources of GLA information:

  • Our Openness and Transparency and Publication Scheme pages detail information published in accordance with the Government’s code of recommended practice on data transparency, and to fulfil our obligations under FoIA
  • The GLA Disclosure Log lists information released by the GLA in response to FoI requests that we have received.
  • The London Datastore provides re-usable raw data that the GLA has produced as well as datasets from the GLA’s functional bodies, London Boroughs and other organisations.

LEAP Transparency

The Mayor is committed to openness in his administration and is committed to making the work of the LEAP (and any Subordinate Body of the LEAP) transparent in line with Mayoral policy (for example through the GLA Group’s Framework Agreement on Corporate Governance) and stakeholder expectations.

Agendas and reports for the LEAP and any of its Groups will be posted on the LEAP’s website at least two clear working days before the meeting to which they relate.

Reports will be released with the agenda except in those cases where the Secretary reasonably considers that information contained in the reports engages any of the FoIA exemption provisions on the basis that the public interest is against disclosure. These papers will be classed as reserved papers.

The FoIA exemption provisions that are most likely to apply to information in LEAP reports whereby those papers are considered to be reserved papers, would include the following provisions, although others may apply:

  • Prejudice to commercial interests;
  • Information provided in confidence;
  • Personal Data;
  • Legal Professional Privilege;
  • Information intended for publication at a future date; or
  • Prejudice to the free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views

Reserved papers and reports can still be requested under FoIA. The GLA will consider the release of this information on a case by case basis taking into consideration such factors as timing, any applicable exemptions and the public interest test.

The meetings themselves will not be open to the public to reflect the accountability arrangements Parliament has put in place for the GLA; the Mayor is answerable to the Assembly through Mayor’s Question Time only after he has taken decisions.

Summary minutes of the meetings of the LEAP and its Groups will be posted on the LEAP website within two weeks of the meeting to which they relate.

Making a request for information

If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please make your request in writing to the following email address: mayor@london.gov.uk

Alternatively, you can post or fax your request:

Public Liaison Unit
Greater London Authority
The Queen’s Walk
London
SE1 2AA

Fax: 020 7983 4057

Please be as specific as possible about the information you would like to request even where you do not know the names of particular documents. For example, try to include details such as dates and names (people, places or events) whenever you can. If your request is unclear, or we cannot identify the information you are interested in, we will write back to you to ask for clarification.

Please also remember that you must provide contact details for where you would like the information to be sent to.

Requests will be handled within the statutory time limit of 20 working days but we aim to respond as soon as possible.

Although you may request any information that we hold, there are some exemptions under these Acts which mean we may not be able to provide the information you require. If we decide that we cannot release the information requested, we will state which exemptions we have used and clearly explain the reasons why we cannot release the information in to the public domain.

How to apply to re-use information

Information provided in response to an information access request does not automatically entitle you to re-use that information. Most of the information that we provide in response to Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental Information Regulations 2004 requests will be subject to copyright protection. In most cases the copyright will be owned by the GLA but some information may be owned by another person or organisation, as indicated on the information itself.

You are free to use any information supplied for your own non-commercial research or private study purposes. The information may also be used for any other purpose allowed by a limitation or exception in copyright law, such as news reporting. However, any other type of re-use will require the permission of the copyright owner.

For information where the copyright is owned by the GLA, you can apply to re-use information by submitting a written request to the address above, including your name and address, details of what information you wish to re-use and the purpose for which the information is to be re-used. Your request will be dealt with under the terms of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.

In some cases, re-use will only be permitted under a certain set of conditions. Where this is the case, the GLA will inform you of these conditions and whether there is a charge involved.

What to do if you are unhappy with the GLA’s response

If you are dissatisfied with our response to your request for information you have a right to an internal review, conducted by someone who was not involved in the handling of your request. Please see the Complaints and Internal Review Procedure for further details.

If you are still not satisfied following an internal review you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.