The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005
The Regulations link with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, in that freedom of information is about access to information and these regulations are about how the information can be re-used. However, there is no automatic right to re-use merely because an access request has been granted. Information that is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act or other legislation is also exempt under the Regulations.
Health Service bodies are required to:
- publish the terms and conditions of standard licences for re-use;
- compile an information asset register detailing the information available for re-use;
- publish details of any exclusive re-use licences granted and review those licences every three years;
- notify the applicant of the reasons for refusal of a re-use application;
- provide contact details where complaints can be addressed;
- deal with all applicants in a non-discriminatory manner, for example applying the same charges for the same type of use; and
- respond to requests within 20 working days.
Further information about the regulations can be obtained from the Office of Public Sector Information at: www.opsi.gov.uk
Records management considerations
Employees responsible for re-use issues should work closely with those responsible for FOI for several reasons. These include:
- an information audit is required for both pieces of legislation to determine the records held and the locations of those records;
- information available for re-use and the terms and conditions of re-use can be included within the organisation’s publication scheme (see Freedom of Information Act 2000); and
- if a request is made for access and re-use, the processes need to be coordinated so that the access issue is dealt with before permission to re-use is granted.