Making a Freedom of Information request

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act came into force on 1 January 2005. It gives the public a right to request access to information held by the University. The University fully supports this increased public access to information, and already publishes a great deal of information on its website. Not all information held by the University can be released. The University may still not be able to release information for a number of reasons, such as data protection, confidentiality, health and safety or to protect its commercial interests. The University may charge a fee for providing some information.

How can I make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act?

The easiest way to make a request is to email:
freedom-information@bris.ac.uk

But any request received in writing can be an FOI request. The University may charge a fee for the information or disbursements (postage, photocopying etc where reasonable), which you must provide within three months. Once it has received the fee, the University must respond to requests within 20 working days by:

There is also some guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office on how to make a request.

Can I get information about individuals under the Freedom of Information Act?

You cannot get your personal information held by the University under the Freedom of Information Act, but you can ask for it under the Data Protection Act. You can ask for information about other people, but the University can only give it to you if it can do so without breaching the Data Protection Act.

What information may be exempt from disclosure?

The University will not usually publish or disclose the following information:

*There can be circumstances where personal data may be disclosed in the public interest e.g. salary details or qualifications of senior officers.

Retention of requests

The University will normally retain a copy of Freedom of Information requests for two years after the final action.