Guidance on the regulations and how to make a request to re-use Barrow Borough Council’s information under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations
From 1st July 2005 a new European Directive came into force. The directive allows people to apply to re-use information held by the Council.
'Re-use' means using the information for a purpose other than its original intended use. This could include a commercial purpose. This page explains how you can make a request to re-use information and how the Council will deal with requests.
The new directive does not provide access to the information itself. That is available through the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Data Protection Act 1998 or other access to information regimes such as the Environmental Information Regulations.
How do I make a request to re-use information?
When applying to re-use information you must:
- Submit the request in writing (includes email)
- Include your name and address in you request
- Specify which documents or pieces of information you wish to re-use; and
- State the purpose for which the document or information is to be re-used
The Application should be sent to:
Freedom of Information,
Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council,
Alternatively please email email@example.com.
Does the Council have to respond within a set time?
Yes. We must respond to your request within 20 working days. Where your request is received outside of normal working hours (i.e. evenings and weekends) it will be treated as having been received on the next working day.
Sometimes it may be necessary to extend the time limit. Where this happens we will tell you before the end of the 20 working day deadline why we are extending the time limit and the date on which we expect to be able to respond.
Responding to a request means:
- making the requested document available for re-use, or
- where conditions are attached to the re-use, finalising the offer to you of the conditions on which re-use will be permitted, or
- refusing the request
Will I always be granted permission to re-use documents?
Not always. The regulations allow us to refuse requests for one or more of the following reasons:
- the document contains information in which intellectual property rights are owned by a third party. An example of this would be architectural drawings which the Council has commissioned from an architect who retains the copyright;
- the content of the document is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000;
- the document falls outside of the Council's statutory functions.
Will I be told why you have refused to let me re-use the information?
Yes – if we refuse your request for re-use we must inform you in writing of the reason for refusal. We must also advise you of your right to an internal review and right to appeal.
Where the refusal is because intellectual property rights are owned by a third party we have to tell you who owns the relevant intellectual property rights, where we know that information; or the name of the person from whom we obtained the document.
Processing requests for re-use.
Where possible we will process your request electronically and also make the documents you wish to re-use available electronically. However, we do not have to create or adapt a document in order to comply with a request for re-use; nor are we required to provide an extract from a document where it would involve disproportionate effort. We also do not have to continue to produce a certain type of document just so that someone else can re-use it.
Will I be able to re-use information in any way I choose?
No. Sometimes we will impose conditions on re-use. Where we do this, the conditions will be imposed by Licence, but they will not unnecessarily restrict the way in which a document can be re-used, or restrict competition.
What happens if someone else wants to re-use the same information?
We cannot discriminate between two applicants who request the same information. Both requests have to be dealt with.
We cannot grant you exclusive rights to re-use the information, except where the arrangement is for the provision of a service in the public interest. If you are granted exclusive rights, these will be reviewed every 3 years and the details of the exclusivity agreement may have to be published on our website.
Will I have to pay for re-use information?
You may have to pay. We can charge for allowing re-use, but we are not allowed to charge more than it costs us to provide the information, other than allowing a reasonable return on our investment.
If you ask, we can provide a breakdown of how charges have been calculated.
Should a request to re-use information be refused, we will:
- give the reasons for refusal in writing;
- explain our complaints procedure and other forms of appeal in our letter; and
- if the refusal is based on the copyright and/or intellectual property rights being owned by a third party, we will identify that third party where they are known.
What happens if I'm not happy with how you have handled my request?
You can ask for an internal review of the decision through our complaints procedure. To do this you should write within 40 days of being informed of the decision to:
Corporate Support Division
Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council
Following the outcome of the internal review if you are still unhappy you can write to The Office of Public Sector Information at:
OPSI Standards Team
Tel: 020 7276 5217
Fax: 020 7276 5207
Or by accessing the OPSI website and completing an on-line contact form at:
OPSI is required to publish details of how it will deal with complaints. In certain circumstances, in relation to complex cases they may require you to pay a £500 non-refundable deposit. Any appeal to OPSI must be lodged before the end of 28 working days from the date you were advised by us of the outcome of our internal review.
What happens if I'm not happy with how OPSI have dealt with my complaint?
You can complain to the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (AAPPSI).
Your appeal must:
- be in writing
- state the nature of the appeal
- include a copy of the decisions of OPSI and the Council
- be lodged with AAPPSI before the end of 28 working days from the date you were informed by OPSI of the results of their review
AAPPSI can be contacted at:
Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information
1.35 Admiralty Arch
or phone or fax them on:
Tel: 020 7276 5216
Fax: 020 7276 5207
Conditions for Reuse
A standard set of conditions will be formulated but additional conditions will be added suitable to the type and extent of the information.
Standard Charges for Reuse
Charges will be set in relation to each application within the criteria set by the Regulations.