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Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), all individuals have a legal right to request information held by any public authority including universities.
This means right of access to all recorded information held by the University (including emails, letters, minutes, spreadsheets etc) Even audio, video and CCTV recordings can be requested. The University does not have to create new information in response to a request.
The University’s Information Compliance Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the point of contact for all such requests. They may need you to help find the information requested. If they do so, please:
a. Do remember that it is a legal obligation to respond to a request.
b. Do deal with the matter promptly despite other demands on time, and ensure all information relevant to the request has been
c. Do treat the requester like a customer and give them a good experience in their dealings
with the University.
d. Do make sure that all of your communications are appropriate and professional. They can also be the subject of a FOI request.
e. Do make sure you recognise when you receive a request for data and don’t ignore it; if you are unsure, the Information Compliance
Team will be able to help.
If you do not normally deal with such matters, do inform your Line Manager immediately upon receipt of a request for information.
The deadline for responding to requests is 20 working days. There are some exemptions, but in most cases we must release the data. The exemptions are tightly worded, so the Information Compliance Team will need to know what information the University holds before they can tell which exemptions will apply, even if it is clear that the data will not be released.
The Act requires the University to give requesters advice and assistance to help them formulate their request and to help them understand what information the University holds.