From 31 January 2005 any citizen requesting information must be informed, in writing, within 20 working days, whether the authority holds information of the type specified.
East Hampshire Council is digitising its 25 million records covering everything from council tax payments to planning information. David Lowe, the council's records and information manager, said, "This technology will allow us to more accurately manage information, get rid of it when we do not need it, and allow access to it when people require it."
The system is also designed to handle East Hampshire's increasing data needs, which are growing by one million records a year.
The council is using an IBM DB2 database running on three IBM x235 eServers. These will each provide up to nine hard disc drives for data storage and a high-speed tape drive for back-up.
Officials at East Hampshire Council predicted that the system would save about 350 square metres of floor space, which is currently used for storing records.