Freedom of Information Act - Information for staff
However, this does not mean that you are now obliged to give away all the information for which you are asked. 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.
What does the Freedom of Information Act mean for me?
- As an individual you are entitled to access information from public authorities subject to the Freedom of Information Act, including those in Central Government, Local Government, the Police, the NHS and the University.
- As a University employee you need to be aware of the Act and be prepared to act quickly if you receive a request for information. You should also remember that you have a legal duty to help people to find the information they request.
- All University records, including the records you keep and emails or letters that you send, may have to be made available to the public if a request is made.
When is someone entitled to information?
- A request for information may come in to any part of the University from anywhere in the world.
- The request must be made in writing e.g. a letter, an email or by fax, and the requester must provide their real name and an address for correspondence (an email address is sufficient).
- The person requesting the information does not need to mention the FOI Act - they only need to ask for the information.
- The person requesting information must give enough information to help the University respond to the request.
- You are not entitled to ask why they want the information - the FOI Act is 'motive blind'.
- The University may be entitled to charge a fee before providing the information requested, depending on the amount of work involved.
- The law says that a request for information must be answered within 20 working days of the request being received. It is important that you act quickly if you receive a request, even if you cannot answer it yourself.
- You have a legal duty to advise and assist someone requesting information.
How can someone make a request for information?
The easiest way for someone to make an FOI request is to email: email@example.com
Or write to:
Information Rights Officer
University Publication Scheme
As part of its FOI obligations, the University has produced a Publication Scheme. This is a list of specific information the University routinely provides to the public and tells the public how to get the information. It includes information about University committees, polices and procedures.
What do I do if someone asks me for information?
All Freedom of Information requests should be forwarded on to the Information Rights Officer for response, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is important that the University keeps a central record of all requests to ensure requests are responded to within the statutory deadline and to monitor the number of requests received.