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You are here:home > Your council > Information Requests > Freedom of information > Publication scheme

Publication Scheme

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 scheme should specify:

  • classes of information which the public authority publishes or intends to publish:

  • the manner in which information is to be publishes, for example online or in hard copy; and

  • whether there is any charge for the information.

This is Southampton City Council's Publication Scheme under the Act. 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.

Southampton City Council has adopted the model scheme created by the Information Commissioner and has provided this information under seven categories.

All information provided is available upon request via postal services, however there may be a charge for this. If you find the content highlighted in blue, then this is a link to a webpage that contains the information.

More Information about Publication Scheme

1. What is a Publication Scheme?

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

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 the Council’s website is therefore part of the Publication Scheme, in addition to printed documents.

The Scheme is intended to develop a greater culture of openness.

The Scheme 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.

  • To specify the information held by the Council and which falls within the classifications.

  • To pro-actively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme.

  • To 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.

  • To review and update on a regular basis, the information the authority makes available under this scheme.

  • To produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information which is made pro-actively available.

  • To make this Publication Scheme available to the public.

2. What are the charges for information?

The purpose of the scheme is to make the maximum amount of information available to the public 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 disbursements such as :-
    Postage and packing.

  • Costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information.

  • Charges may also be made be made 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.

3. What are the seven classes of information?

The publication scheme sets out the classes of information which the Council will routinely publish.

The new model publication scheme contains seven classes of information and these are as follows:-

  1. Who we are and what we do - Organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.

  2. What we spend and how we spend it - Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.

  3. What our priorities are and how we are doing - Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

  4. How we make decisions - Policy proposals and decisions, decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.

  5. Our policy and procedures - Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.

  6. Lists and registers - Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority.

  7. The services we offer - Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases, a description of the services offered.

4. What information is not included in the classes?

The classes of information will not generally include;

  • Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.

  • Information in draft form

  • Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.

5. What if the information you seek is not available in the Publication Scheme?

If the information you seek is not available under the Publication Scheme, you may make a written request for that information. The request will be considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

Please address requests to:

The Information Compliance Officer
Corporate Legal Team
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre
SO14 7LY

By e-mail to

or telephone 023 8083 2676

6. How information will be provided?

Details of the types of information available are given under each of the class of the information. Within this, we have listed the specific documents and items of information that we routinely publish. Where the document is available electronically you will find it elsewhere on the council’s website. For other documents, details of how you can obtain and inspect a copy are provided.

For those without internet access, single page printouts as on the website, or copies of documents as on the website are available by post.

The public may also access the scheme and other council information via the internet access points made available for free in the council’s libraries. Details of these are available from the City Librarian.

In some circumstances, information may be available only by viewing in person. Where this is the case, contact details will be provided. An appointment will be provided within a reasonable timescale.

Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that it is legally required. Where the Council is legally required to translate any information it will do so. Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with this scheme.

Related links

This website

Contact information