The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) provide anybody in the world with a general right of access to most recorded information held by public authorities, subject to a few exemptions.
Although FOIA and EIR give applicants a right of access, they do not provide them with the right to re-use any information which is disclosed to them.
On 1st July 2005 a set of regulations was brought in called the 'Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations' (PSI).
These regulations provide public authorities with the ability to place a copyright notice on many of their documents - advising of a charge for any ‘re-use’ of the information.
The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) lists the main objectives of the regulations as:
- The ready identification of public sector documents that are available for re-use
- The availability of many public sector documents for re-use at marginal cost
- Clarity of any charges to be made for re-use (with an explanation of basis of the charge being available on request)
- Processing of applications for re-use in a timely, open and transparent manner
- Application of fair, consistent and non-discriminatory processes
- Transparency of terms, conditions and licences
- Sharing of best practice across the public sector
- Establishment of a quick and easily accessible complaints process.
To comply with the re-use of PSI regulations, we have a duty to have these things in place:
- Copyright and licensing arrangements
- Standard licences
- Asset lists
- Complaints procedures
- Transparency, fairness and openness.
The regulations also oblige us to:
- Respond to all PSI requests within 20 working days
- Offer appropriate advice and guidance where necessary
- Grant licences for re-use of our public sector information where applicable
- Advise applicants of our refusal where appropriate, advising them of the reasons for refusal and their right to request an internal review.
The regulations give us the option to charge a fee for re-use of the information - to the extent that the charges cover our costs for providing the information and provide a reasonable return on investment.
But in line with Section 7 of the Regulations, we haven't yet identified any content which we will permit the re-use of pursuant to Regulations 11-16. In simple terms, we haven't yet made arrangements to allow re-use of our information.
What is meant by ‘re-use’ of information?
Re-use of information involves the reproduction of information in a way that it was not originally intended for. This includes copying, adapting, developing, adding value, broadcasting or commercially exploiting.
The supply of council information to an applicant under access to information legislation doesn’t grant the applicant the right to re-use the information in any way that would infringe the copyright on that information.
For example, an applicant will not be permitted to publish the information, or issue copies to other people. Subject to an acknowledgement from us, the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (Sections 29 and 30) permit the reproduction of brief extracts of the material released for the following reasons:
- Research for non-commercial purposes
- Private study
- News reporting.
Any wider use than this requires permission. For any wider use, we may choose to allow the re-use under licence. This enables us to impose conditions on the re-use to ensure it isn’t used in a manner which is inconsistent with our copyright, as well as providing the option to charge a fee for re-use.
How do I get permission to re-use?
In a similar way to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations requests, applications for re-use of information must be made in writing stating your name and a correspondence address.
You must be specific about the information you require and, unlike FOIA and EIR, you must state the purpose for which the information is to be re-used.
You should send your application for re-use to the Records Management Officer using the contact details on this page.
Please note: You must have already obtained the information from us to apply for re-use of the information. You may combine a request for access to information with an application to re-use that information.
From when we receive your application for re-use of information, we have 20 working days to respond to you although this may be extended in exceptional circumstances. We will contact you to let you know if we require an extension, and to advise you how much of extension is needed. We will also contact you if we have any queries regarding your application.
When we respond, the response will state one of the following things:
- That we are making the requested information available for re-use
- That there are conditions attached to the re-use of the information, and what those conditions are
- That we are refusing permission to re-use the information.
If we refuse to allow you to re-use the information, we will provide you with the following details in writing:
- Our reasons for refusal
- Information regarding your rights to an internal review and appeal
- The necessary time limits of reviews and appeals.
Exemptions to re-use
You will not always be given permission to re-use council information. As with the Environmental Information Regulations, and the Freedom of Information Act, the regulations do have a few exemptions which prevent re-use of the Council’s information. These are:
- If the information is exempt under Access to Information legislation (FOIA, DPA, EIRs)
- If supplying and re-using the document falls outside it's 'public task'
- If part of the information is not owned by the council and the intellectual property rights belong to a third party.
Charging for re-use
The Regulations allow for Public Authorities to charge for re-use of their information in order that they can make a ‘reasonable return on investment’. The Council will take the following things into account when calculating any charges:
Whether or not the information has commercial value. This is also known as the ‘intellectual property rights’.
- Staff time. This will be calculated at a charge of £25 per hour in order to remain consistent with the Freedom of Information Act. This may be subject to change depending on the seniority of the staff member responsible for processing the request
- Charges for postage and packaging.
Information asset list
North West Leicestershire District Council have produced a Publication Scheme as part of our obligations under FOIA. This makes many Council publications routinely available to the public. This system is regularly updated.
If you are unhappy with the way NWLDC has dealt with your request to re-use council information, you can make a complaint. Our complaints process for requests to re-use information is the same as the complaints process for Freedom of Information Requests.
If you are unhappy with the way North West Leicestershire District Council has handled your request you may ask for an internal review. You should contact the Records Management Officer using the contact details on this page if you wish to complain.
The Government Department that oversees PSI is the Office for Public Sector Information (OPSI). If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you can complain direct to OPSI.
For further details about making complaints to OPSI – please follow this link:
The contact address for OPSI is:
The Standards Division
Last updated: Wed 23 September, 2020 @ 09:16