Freedom of Information
What is Freedom of Information?
Freedom of Information is set out in the Freedom of Information Act and gives everyone a legal right to see information held by public bodies. Salix is a public body as a publicly owned company, see sections 3 and 6 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Some of this information is published in accordance with a scheme prescribed by the Information Commissioner’s Office. We provide information under the FOI on behalf of Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (formerly the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and the other government agencies, who own the data.
Separate Environmental Information Regulations give similar rights of access to environmental information. See more information about this below.
- Where information held is reasonably accessible to applicant by other means, e.g. available online elsewhere (section 21);
- The information is intended for future publication or part or an ongoing programme or research and it is in the public interest to withhold (sections 22 and 22A);
- To protect national security, the economy or intra or international relations (sections 23-29);
- To protect an individual’s health or safety (section 38);
- Law enforcement, investigations, and court proceedings; public audit and parliamentary and government proceedings (sections 30-37);
- Where other law/rules cover the request e.g. Environmental Information Regulations or Data Protection (sections 39 and 40); specific prohibition on disclosure (section 44)
- Confidential information, commercial sensitivity, and legal professional privilege (sections 41-44).
Many Freedom of Information requests received relate to our schemes, the beneficiaries and the amounts granted. A lot of information is available in this respect here
The Act applies to England and Wales, to Northern Ireland, and to information held by UK-wide authorities, though applications can be made from anywhere in the world. It applies to authorities in Scotland only when they are exercising UK-wide functions. Information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by the Scottish Freedom of Information Act 2002, as amended.
Freedom of Information (FOI) Publication Scheme
The Freedom of Information Act requires every public authority to have a publication scheme, approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office , and to publish information covered by the scheme. The scheme sets out our commitment to make certain classes of information routinely available, such as policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports and financial information.
The scheme covers and explains: Who we are and what we do
The information published in this category covers Salix’s organisational information, location and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.
What we do
Salix delivers funding on behalf of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (formerly the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), the Department for Education, and the Scottish and Welsh Governments, as well as providing professional and tailored support, to public sector organisations.
The funding schemes are dedicated to enabling the public sector to reduce their carbon emissions in line with the UK Government’s commitment to become net zero by 2050. Salix delivers on behalf of our funders, a mixed financing portfolio of grants and loans to public sector organisations through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Schemes), Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund, Scotland Public Sector Energy Efficiency Scheme, Wales Funding Programme and Salix Recycling Fund Scheme.
The purpose of these schemes is to finance delivery of capital energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects within public sector non-domestic buildings, including central government departments and non-departmental public bodies in England.
Salix also plays a key role in increasing the awareness across the public sector throughout the UK in the importance of energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation.
Please find some guidance on the Salix complaints procedure which outlines how to make a formal complaint and who to contact.
Complaints and queries about our complaints procedure can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
What we spend
The day-to-day operational expenditure of the company is funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (formerly the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and the Scottish and Welsh Governments and the Department for Education for the schemes that Salix delivers on their behalf.
The total operational expenditure in any financial year depends on the schemes being launched and delivered by Salix during the year and any additional work Salix plans to do during that year, for example IT transformation, as well as the day –to day costs of running the organisation.
Our annual report and accounts set out our actual income and expenditure for the prior financial year after external audit.
Senior Officials' Business Expenses
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued guidance for Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs), regarding information that it expects NDPBs to publish. The ICO guidance includes a requirement for NDPBs to publish senior staff and Board member allowances and expenses. This information, relating to Salix’s Board members and Executive Team, can be found below, presented on a quarterly basis.
What our priorities are and how we are doing
Details about current schemes can be found on the scheme pages.
Lists and registers
In this category we publish details of our registers relating to the functions of our work, including our contractors and suppliers.
This section is under development.
How to make a Freedom of Information request
- a detailed description of the information you are looking for; and
- a contact name and address.
A request must be in writing, but please let us know if this would cause any difficulties.
How long will it take?
Under the Freedom of Information Act, we have a duty to reply to your request and to provide the information, unless it is subject to an exemption, as soon as possible and within 20 working days. In limited circumstances, this is extendable up to 60 working days. We will tell you if the process might take slightly longer in your case.
Can my request be refused?
We can withhold information if it falls with an exemption specified in the Act. We may refuse a request on the following procedural grounds:
- A request could also be refused if it would cost too much to comply with. Section 20 of FOIA allows us to limit the amount of work we do for an individual request. If it would cost more than £450 to find and provide the requested information, we can refuse it. The £450 limit is calculated on the basis of 18 hours work at £25 per hour.
- A request could also be refused if it is vexatious or repeated.
Can I appeal a refusal?
We will help you with reformulating a query as much as possible. Anyone disappointed with the response to their enquiry should contact us about our complaints procedure. If this does not resolve matters, you have a further right of appeal to the Information Commissioner (though check their time limits; at the time or writing, the expectation was contact within three months of your last contact with us).
Environmental Information Regulations
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provide public access to environmental information held by public authorities.
Environmental information is defined as information in any material form on:
- The state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms, and the interaction among these elements.
- Factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment.
- Measures such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors above including measures or activities to protect them elements; The cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used are also regarded as environmental information.
- Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation.
- The state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures to the extent that they are or may be affected by the environment, emissions or measures taken to deal with environmental issues.
Our obligations are similar to those under the Freedom of Information in that:
- Public authorities must make environmental information available proactively.
- Members of the public are entitled to request environmental information from public authorities.
Unlike under the Freedom of Information Act, any information that is in our possession that you have produced or received is considered to be ‘held’. Information held solely on behalf of another person or body is not excluded. However, the view of the ICO appears to be that information is in your possession only if you hold it to any extent for your own purposes. There is no prescribed information scheme under these regulations.
Requests under Environmental Information Regulation can be oral or written.
Applications are similar to those made under Freedom of Information, with the authority required to respond within 20 working days, which can be extended to 40. A charge may be made for providing the information if it is not on a public register or inspectable.
Exceptions allowing us to withhold information are set out in Part 3 of the Regulations, though these are subject to a public interest test (where the public interest in not disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it). Exceptions include where the information requested:
- Includes personal data of a person other than the applicant so principles under s10 of the DPA should be observed (right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress)
- Is not held when an applicant’s request is received (Reg 4a).
- Is manifestly unreasonable (Reg 4b).
- Is formulated in too general a manner and the public authority has given advice and assistance (regulation 9).
- Relates to material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to incomplete data; (Reg 4d).
- Involves the disclosure of internal communications (Reg 4e).
- Affects international relations, defence, national security or public safety (Reg 5a).
- Affects the course of justice, the ability of a person to receive a fair trial or the ability of a public authority to conduct an inquiry of a criminal or disciplinary nature (Reg 5b).
- Affects intellectual property rights (Reg 5c).
- Affects the confidentiality of the proceedings of that or any other public authority where such confidentiality is provided by law; (Reg 5d).
- Affects the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest; (Reg 5e).
- Where the information was supplied where the supplier was not under any legal obligation to supply and where the supplier does not consent to its onward disclosure; (Reg 5f).
- For the protection of the environment to which the information relates. (Reg 5g).
Many requests received relate to our schemes, the beneficiaries and the amounts granted. A lot of information is available in this respect.
The Regulations cover any recorded information held by public authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Environmental information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, which are similar.
Refusal of request
A request can be refused if it is deemed to be manifestly unreasonable, though this will also subject to a public interest test.
Our location and contact details
Our business and registered office address is:
10 South Colonnade