Freedom of Information Requests

Making a request

Please check that the information isn't already available

  • The University is not obliged to deal with requests for information that is already available in the publication scheme.

Making a request

Requests must be made in writing and should be submitted to the email or postal address: Assurance and Data Protection, The Registry, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ. Any school or department receiving a request should forward it as soon as possible to

Requests must include:

  • requester's valid name and address (can be an email address)
  • description of the information requested.

If the information is personal and relates to the requester, this will be treated as a Subject Access Request under the terms of the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.

If the information requested relates to the environment, this will be treated as a request under the Environmental Information Regulations.

After a request has been made

The University will respond within 20 working days after receipt of the request unless further time is needed for clarification of the request, if there is uncertainty or a lack of clarity about the information being requested, or for consideration of an exemption.

The response will confirm whether the University holds the information, and either provide it or explain why it has not been provided and provide a summary of any public interest or prejudice test in the response.


A fee may apply if work required to retrieve the information will cost more than £450. In this case the requester will be notified, and the request will only be responded to after the fee has been paid.

Please note that the University is not required to respond to a request if the cost exceeds the appropriate limit in the regulations.

Refusal of requests

A request may be refused if:

  • it falls under one of the exemptions or exceptions provided for within the Act or regulations
  • it is vexatious or repeated
  • we have asked the requester for more information in order to meet the request, but it has not been provided.

If a request is refused, a response will be sent to explain why and will include details of how to request an internal review. This will be conducted by someone who has not previously been involved in the decision making process. If an internal review is unsuccessful, the requester may ask the Information Commissioner to review the decision.

Schedule of charges for information requests

This schedule is based on the costs and fees advice published by the Information Commissioner.

The charges are as follows:

Photocopying/printing 10p per A4 sheet (monochrome) 30p (colour)
Postage At cost
Staff time £25 per hour

The circumstances under which these charges can be applied are dependent upon which regime/s an information request falls under. Please note that all the above charges are required to be paid upfront prior to the collation of the information requested. The following guidance explains the fee criteria for each regime.

  • Freedom of Information
  • Environmental Information Regulations

Freedom of Information

Fees that may be charged when the cost of compliance does not exceed the appropriate limit (£450)

The majority of requests are responded to free of charge. Prior to the undertaking of any work which would incur a charge the University will advise the requestor of the amount in a fees notice. The following communication costs may be charged for:

  • Common practice is to send the information electronically, however, if this is not possible or the requester would prefer a hard copy then the University may charge for photocopying/ printing (10p per A4 sheet) and postage (standard rates).

Fees that may be charged when the cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate limit

Where it would exceed the appropriate limit (£450) to comply with a request, the University may charge for providing the information. Prior to the undertaking of any work which would incur a charge, the University will advise the requestor of the amount in a fees notice.  This charge would include the above communication costs as well as:

  • the costs which may be taken into account in calculating whether the appropriate limit is exceeded; and
  • staff time expected to be spent locating, retrieving, extracting and collating the information. Regulation 7(5) indicates that staff time is to be charged at the flat rate of £25 per hour, irrespective of whether a higher rate is actually incurred by internal staff or charged by external contractor staff.

If complying with a request would exceed the appropriate limit, the University is not obliged to comply with it. If this is the case, the University will issue a refusal notice stating that it is relying on Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act.

Environmental Information Regulations

The University can make a reasonable charge for two types of costs as follows:

  • The cost of staff time spent locating, retrieving extracting and collating the information. The EIR do not specify the rate at which staff time should be calculated. Although the FOI Fees Regulations do not apply to the EIR, the Information Commissioner’s view is that it is reasonable for public authorities to use the FOI rate of £25 per hour as a starting point.
  • The costs incurred when printing or copying the requested information and sending it to the applicant (10p per A4 sheet plus standard rates for postage).

The University must be able to demonstrate why it believes a charge in each particular case is reasonable. This may mean providing a breakdown of the charges so the requester can understand the basis for the fees.

The University does not charge applicants for inspecting the information or accessing public registers or lists of environmental information.

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