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The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) enables anyone to request recorded information held by the General Chiropractic Council.

The General Chiropractic Council supports the underlying principle of FOIA; that people have a right to know about the activities of public authorities unless there are good reasons for withholding that information.

The Council seeks to operate open and transparent processes and to publish as much information about its activities as it can. The Council will comply with a request for information made under FOIA (a FOI request) if it holds the information requested, unless one or more of the exemptions under FOIA apply.

The policy applies to all recorded information held by the General Chiropractic Council or by third parties on its behalf. Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and sound or video recordings.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has also published a more detailed sector specific definition document for health regulators. This provides guidance on the kinds of information that the ICO expects the General Chiropractic Council and other regulators to proactively provide.

You may also wish to access further information on subject access requests or cookies.

 


FOIA requests

If you are unable to locate the information you require on our website you can submit an FOI request for it. Requests must be in writing and include your name and contact details. Requests can be made by email to [email protected] or by post.

You do not have to mention FOIA to make a valid request. The GCC will treat all written or email requests for information as FOI requests where the information sought is not already available to the public or routinely provided.

We aim to respond to requests promptly and, in any event, within the statutory FOIA time limit (20 working days starting the day after a valid request is received).

If we need more detail from you in order to identify the information you have requested, we will ask you. We will do this at the earliest opportunity. The FOIA time limit will be suspended until you respond.

You can expect our FOI response to;

  • confirm if the information you have requested is held;

  • provide an explanation of any exemptions applied;

  • outline the public interest arguments considered if  the public interest test has been applied – see ‘qualified exemptions’ below; and

  • explain how you can complain if you are not satisfied with the response received.

FOIA and data protection law

You cannot make a FOI request for your own personal data. If you want to access your personal data this will be treated as a ‘subject access request’.

The General Chiropractic Council must protect personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). If you are requesting information which forms the personal data of another individual, the Council will need to carefully consider its obligations under the GDPR before disclosing any personal data in response to that request.

Exemptions

Some information is exempt from disclosure under FOIA. Although the General Chiropractic Council seeks to disclose as much information as possible, we will use relevant exemptions when we consider this is appropriate.

If we decide that the information you have requested cannot be released we will tell you this and we will explain our reasons.

Exemptions under FOIA may be either:

  • qualified exemptions: where the Council must apply the ‘public interest test’ and decide whether the public interest in withholding the information is outweighed by the competing public interest in its disclosure; or

  • absolute exemptions: which apply automatically, without any public interest test.

Qualified exemptions apply, for example, to information which is intended for publication at some future date, information held for the purpose of fitness to practise investigations or proceedings (and where the disclosure would prejudice those investigations); commercially sensitive information; and information which, if disclosed, would be likely to endanger an individual’s health or safety.

Absolute exemptions apply, for example, to information provided in confidence; material that is the personal data of a person making an FOI request; or material which is personal data about others.

Vexatious or repeated requests

FOIA does not require the General Chiropractic Council to provide information if a request is vexatious. The Information Commissioner has identified a number of factors that can be taken into account when determining whether a request is vexatious, these include:

  • abusive or aggressive language;

  • personal grudges;

  • unreasonable persistence;

  • frequent or overlapping requests;

  • scattergun approach;

  • frivolous requests.

The Council is not obliged to comply with a request which is identical or substantially similar to a previous request from the same person unless a reasonable interval has elapsed.

Costs

In general, the General Chiropractic Council will not charge for FOI requests.

Complaints

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the General Chiropractic Council you can request an internal review. An internal review must be requested within 40 working days of the date of the Council's response to your FOI request.

An internal review will be undertaken by a senior member of General Chiropractic Council staff who was not involved with the original decision. They will consider whether the FOI request was handled appropriately. We aim to respond to all internal review requests within 20 working days.

Requests for internal reviews can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by post.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal review or with the General Chiropractic Council’s handling of your request you can contact the ICO to request that they look into your concerns. The contact details for the Information Commissioner are:

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

Tel: 0303 123 1113

Website: www.ico.org.uk

Email: [email protected]


Subject access requests

You have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you. This is called a subject access request.

Individuals have the right to obtain:

  • confirmation that you are processing their personal data;

  • a copy of their personal data; and

  • other supplementary information

The General Chiropractic Council has one month to respond to a request in the first instance and cannot ordinarily charge a fee to deal with a request.

Your right in making a subject access request is to information about you and not to documents or information about other people.

It will help us to deal with your request quickly and efficiently if you can be as specific as possible about what information you are interested in obtaining. Any key words, time periods or other information which will help us to deal with your request is very helpful.

Is there information you can't give me?

There are a number of legal exemptions which may mean we can’t give out some information. If we can't give you your personal data, we will tell you why it has been withheld. In some cases legislation exempts us from having to confirm or deny if we have your personal data.

Who can make a request for information?

Anyone can make a request for their own personal information. If you want someone else to apply for your personal information for you (such as a solicitor or other representative), we'll need your written authorisation as proof that they are acting on your behalf.

Do I need to give a reason to see the information I am requesting?

You don't have to give a reason why you want to see the information. However, we might ask you some questions to help us understand exactly what it is you want us to provide.

Making a request

Individuals can make a subject access request verbally or in writing.

Proof of identity

Because of the sensitive information held by the General Chiropractic Council, we may need you to verify your identity before we can comply with your request.

Contact

Data Protection Officer
General Chiropractic Council
Park House
186 Kennington Park Road
London SE11 4BT

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 020 7713 5155

Further information is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office

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