Re-use of Public Sector Information
The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 established a framework for making the re-use of public sector information easier and more transparent. The main aims of the Regulations are:
Re-use means the use by a person (or company) of a document held by the Council for a purpose other than the initial purpose for which the document was produced.
The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 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 2004.
Receiving information under the Freedom of Information Act and other information access regimes does not give you an automatic right to re-use the information. You must make a distinct request to re-use it.
In relation to the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations, an asset is any information that the Council produces that is of interest or value to the organisation itself and potentially to others.
The Council has not produced a separate information Asset List. However, all significant documents registered within the Council's Publication Scheme (with the exception of those documents where charges apply) are available for re-use.
Conditions of Re-use
To be valid, a request for re-use of Public Sector Information must:
- Be in writing
- State your name and address
- Specify the document which you want to re-use
- State the purpose for which the document is to be re-used
For your convenience, an Application Form can be used to submit your request.
All requests for the re-use of information must be sent to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Three Rivers District Council
Three Rivers House
Herts WD3 1RL
The regulations allow the Council up to 20 working days following date of receipt of the request for re-use to respond to the request. This timeframe may be extended by such time as is reasonable in the circumstances for extensive of complex requests. In such cases, the Council will notify the applicant within 20 working days of an estimated date by which it expects to respond to the request for re-use.
A licence is not required for non-commercial research and private study, but you will need a licence from the Council for any other form of re-use, for example, posting material on a website or distributing printed copies at a meeting.
The licence will enable you to reproduce the material by publishing it in any medium including featuring it on websites or internal electronic networks; authorising users and subscribers who use your electronic or digital products to access the material by means of an End User Licence. This will normally allow users and subscribers to download the material to screen and printer for their own use. It does not allow you to authorise the reproduction of the information.
The Licence enables the material to be translated into other languages or converted to Braille and other formats for people who are visually impaired. It allows the material to be copied for non-commercial research or private study. For the full terms and conditions please see the Standard Licence.
You are advised to read the terms of the Licence carefully and complete the Application Form if you wish to re-use Council information.
The Council intends to make the material on its website and the significant documents available in its Publication Scheme (other than those where charges apply) available for re-use. Where a Licence is required, this may be free of charge or subject to a reasonable charge.
Because of the potential diversity of requests for re-use of information, the Council has not produced or published standard charges. Where a charge is made, it will not exceed the total of the cost of collection, production, reproduction and dissemination of the document which is the subject of the request together with a reasonable return on investment. Neither the Regulations nor the Directive define what is meant by a reasonable return on investment, and therefore this will be dependent on the particular circumstances. You will be advised of any charge due to be paid in these circumstances.
Scope of the Regulations
The following documents are excluded from the Regulations:
- Documents that are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Documents that are exempt from disclosure under the Data Protection Act 1998
- Documents that are exempt from disclosure under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
- Documents in which the copyright and/or other intellectual property rights are owned or controlled by a third party other than the Council
- Documents that fall outside the scope of the public task of the District Council, ie documents produced that are not directly related to the core responsibilities of the Council, such as documents with a value-added or commercial nature
- Documents held by educational and research establishments such as schools, universities, archives, libraries and research facilities
- Documents held by cultural establishments including museums, libraries, archives, orchestras, theatre and performing arts establishments
- Documents held by public service broadcasters (radio and TV stations) for the fulfilment of a public service broadcasting remit
If the Council refuses a request for re-use, it will notify you in writing of its decision within 20 working days and the reason for refusal. Where refusal is due to intellectual property rights being owned by a third party, we will confirm, if known, who owns the intellectual property rights and provide you with their name and contact details.
Should you wish to make a complaint about the way your request was handled or if your request was refused, you should in the first instance use the Council's Complaints Procedure.
In accordance with Regulation 19 of the Regulations, where an applicant has exhausted the internal complaints procedure, he may refer that complaint to the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). Such complaint must
- be in writing,
- state the nature of the complaint,
- include a copy of the written determination under the internal complaints procedure
- be lodged with the OPSI before the end of 28 working days beginning with the date of receipt of the determination.
The OPSI will investigate the complaint and issue a Decision within 30 working days. Complex cases may be subject to a payment of £500 (non-refundable).
Both parties can appeal to the specially constituted panel of the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI). APPSI will investigate and reach a Decision within 60 working days. Generally evidence will only be considered in written form.