Freedom of Information Policy
FOI POLICY – FOR USE ON ALL WEBSITES
What are my rights under FOIA and who can I request information from?
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) provides the general public with the right of access to recorded information held by public authorities. Public authorities as defined in the Act include central government departments, local government, the police, the National Health Service, and schools, colleges and universities. If you are not sure whether or not the body you wish to request information from is a public authority, a full list of organisations covered by the Act is available at http://www.ico.org.uk.
How can I obtain information?
The Act provides this right of access in two ways. Firstly, each public authority is required to maintain a publication scheme, which lists all the classes of information an authority voluntarily makes public, describes how this information is made available and gives details of any charges made. You may find that the public authority already lists the information you wish to request in its publication scheme. Many authorities publish their scheme on their web site, and may include links to the information listed in the scheme. Consulting the publication scheme should be your first step if you want to obtain information from a public authority.
The University will not normally make any charges for providing information to you. However, in accordance with the Act, the University shall not be obliged to provide information where the cost of compliance would exceed the cost limit set by the Act.
The duty to advise and assist
Under the Act, public authorities have a duty to advise and assist those requesting information. This duty might include, for example, helping individuals to focus their request more clearly so that they obtain the information they want for the least possible cost, or directing requesters to other information sources if needed.
What format can I request information in?
You can express a preference regarding the format you would like to receive the information in. This includes asking for information in Braille, audio format or in another language. However, the public authority may take into account the cost of supplying the information in your preferred format. This should be discussed with the individual authority.
Request for Information
If you wish to make a request for information that is not available through the publication scheme please write to;
Legal Services – Freedom of Information
If you wish to make a request for information please remember that