Guidance for staff
What is the Freedom of Information Act?
The Act came into force on 1 January 2005 and gives a general right of public access to all types of 'recorded' information held by a public authority, subject to certain classes of exempt information. The University is a designated public authority under the terms of the Act. Public authorities have two main responsibilities:
- they must produce a publication scheme; a guide to the information they hold that is made available to the public
- they must deal with individual requests for information, generally within 20 working days.
How does it affect me?
A request for information under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act could be submitted to any member of staff in the University. As the University has only 20 working days to comply with requests under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, all members of staff should ensure that post and email is not left unopened for long periods of time. You should also be aware of what you need to do if you receive a request for information.
What should I do?
If you are asked for information which you would expect to send out during the normal course of your job, continue to do so. If you are asked for information which you would not normally disclose, please refer the request to the FOI Team without delay.
How do I recognise a request?
A request for information under the Act must be made in writing. This includes email. The request should include the name and contact details of the person applying for the information, and a description of the required information. The request may not necessarily mention the Freedom of Information Act.