Reuse of public sector information

On 18th July 2015 the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015(SI 2015 No. 1415) (PSI) was introduced to allow people to apply to re-use information held by the council. These regulations amended earlier regulations made in 2005.

Those changes which affect the council:

  • require public sector bodies, such as the council, to allow the re-use of existing and generally accessible information they create, collect or hold. In most cases re-use is mandatory.
  • introduce the general principle that charges for re-use should normally be set at marginal cost, with exceptions in certain circumstances.
  • require standard licensing with licences being be as non-restrictive as possible
  • provide redress arrangements with the Information Commissioner who can issue binding decisions and the ability to appeal further to a first tier-tribunal

Re-use means using the information for a purpose other than the purpose for which the document was originally produced.

Examples of public sector information are national and local legislation, statistics, local planning, tourist information, and guidance on local community issues and policies etc.

To comply with PSI legislation Amber Valley Borough Council has a duty to:

  • Respond to all PSI requests within 20 working days. This period may be extended where the request is extensive or complex
  • Offer appropriate advice and guidance, where necessary
  • Grant licences for re-use of public sector information where applicable
  • Levy fees where there is reasonable justification to cover the costs of producing and supplying the data

The focus of freedom of information is on access to information, whereas the PSI Regulations refer to its re-use.

Receiving information under freedom of information and other information access regimes does not give you an automatic right to re-use the information and you must make a distinct request to re-use it.

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 2004.

Useful sources of information

For further guidance on the PSI regulations the following websites may prove useful, along with using the headings below to read our FAQs.

Frequently asked questions

Reuse means using the information for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was produced. This includes using the information for commercial purposes.

To be valid a request must:

  • be in writing, which includes e-mail
  • 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

N.B. This applies only if you want to re-use information held by Amber Valley Borough Council otherwise requests for access to information should be handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

An applicant must have obtained the information under any access request before he/she can have an application to make a re-use considered.

A request for access and re-use may be combined.

There is no prescribed form but your request can be made by applying in writing to:

Civic links & FOI officer - Amber Valley Borough Council, Town Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3BT
foi@ambervalley.gov.uk

Yes. All requests must be responded to within 20 working days unless there are exceptional circumstances. For example where requests are extensive in terms of the number of documents requested, or raise complex issues. If we require more information we will contact you.

If a request is received outside of normal working hours it will be treated as being received the next working day.

Response means one of the following:

  • Refusing the request
  • 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.

No. There are certain regulations that prevent re-use, where:

  • the content is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  • the documents falls outside of the council's statutory functions.
  • the document contains information in which intellectual property rights are owned by a third party. An example of this would be architectural drawings which have been commissioned by an architect who retains the copyright.
  • the document does not exist.

Yes. We will advise you in writing of the:

  • Reasons for refusal
  • Your rights to an internal review and appeal
  • The necessary time limits of reviews and appeals

Where refusal is due to intellectual property rights being owned by a third party, we will confirm, if we know:

  • Who owns the intellectual property rights and
  • Provide you with their names and contact details.

No. We can impose conditions on re-use. These conditions will not unnecessarily restrict the way in which a document can be reused or restrict competition.

We cannot discriminate between two applicants who request the same information, nor can we grant you exclusive rights for re-use of the document unless the arrangement is in the public interest.

If exclusive rights are granted, the document will be reviewed on a 3 year basis and details of the exclusive rights may be published on the council's website.

We may make a charge but we will advise you on receipt of your request.

If charges are applied these will be to cover:

  • The re-use of information for commercial use
  • The costs of collecting, producing, reproducing and supplying the material
  • The cost of the demand on the document(s) over the next three years

Any requests considered unreasonable will be refused.

Yes, but this must be stipulated in your request and may incur an additional charge. It may not always be possible or practicable for the council to provide the information in your preferred format. The council has no obligation to put material into specific formats or languages and may make documents available as they exist when the request is received.

Enquirers are directed in the first instance to the council's publication scheme.

What happens if I am not happy with how the request has been handled?

You can ask for an internal review to be carried out. This request must be made in writing in accordance with our internal "comments, compliments and complaints" procedure. The council's notice will be in writing, giving reasons for the decision.

You can refer your complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) at:

Customer Contact
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
SK9 5AF

Email: casework@ico.org.uk

Or by accessing the ICO website and completing an on-line form.

Any complaints referred to ICO must:

  • Be in writing
  • State the nature of the complaint
  • Include a copy of the Council's decision notice

Appeals to the ICO must be lodged within 3 months following an internal review.

As with Freedom of Information Act, you can appeal against the ICO’s decision notice (called a ‘recommendation notice’ in the 2015 regulations) to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights), which is a part of the General Regulatory Chamber (GRC). The First-tier Tribunal will hear the appeal and make a decision on it.

Appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) must be lodged 28 days from your date of notification from the ICO. You will need to contact:

First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) Team
Tribunals Operational Support Centre
PO Box 6987,
Leicester LE1 6ZX
Tel: 0845 600 0877
Fax: 0116 249 4253

Further guidance is available on the following web site The National Archives Information Management

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841601 or email foi@ambervalley.gov.uk