A Publication Scheme is a guide to the classes of information that the council publishes, or intends to publish routinely.

Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires every public authority to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme which has been approved by the Information Commissioner, and to publish information in accordance with the scheme.

The idea of the Scheme is to let everyone know what information will be automatically or routinely published and/or made available by the City Council.

The term 'published' is broad and is not limited to information produced in paper form.  As far as the Freedom of Information Act is concerned, information made publicly available is published.

Information provided on our website is therefore part of the Publication Scheme, in addition to printed documents.

Classes of information

The Publication Scheme contains seven classes of information and these are as follows - information available is shown on the links:

  • Who we are and what we do - Organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.
  • What we spend and how we spend it - Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.
  • What our priorities are and how we are doing - Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.
  • How we make decisions - Policy proposals and decisions, decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.
  • Our policy and procedures - Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.
  • Lists and registers - Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority.
  • The services we offer - Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases, a description of the services offered.

What are the charges for information?

The purpose of the scheme is to make the maximum amount of information available at the minimum cost and inconvenience. Charges made for routinely published information will be justified, transparent and kept to a minimum.

Material published and accessed on the website will be provided free of charge.

Charges may be made for information subject to a charging regime specified in Parliament. Charges may be made for actual costs such as:

  • photocopying
  • postage and packing
  • as a result of viewing information
  • where they are legally authorised, justified and in accordance with a published schedule of fees which is readily available to the public.

If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given in advance. Payment may also be required in advance.

Aims of the Publication Scheme

The Scheme is intended to develop a greater culture of openness and commits the council to: 

  • pro-actively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information (including environmental information) which is held by the council and falls within the classifications.
  • specify the information held by the Council and which falls within the classifications.
  • pro-actively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme
  • produce and publish the methods by which the specific information is made routinely available, so that it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public
  • review and update on a regular basis, the information the authority makes available under this scheme
  • produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information which is made pro-actively available
  • make this Publication Scheme available to the public.

Email: information@southampton.gov.uk