Freedom of Information Publication Scheme
Welcome to the University of Bristol Publication Scheme. This Scheme has been organised in line with the Information Commissioner's Model Publication Scheme for Universities and has been effective from 1st January 2009.
The Scheme is a guide to the information the University intends to publish routinely to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act.
The University strives to be as open as possible in its attitudes, operations, policies and processes, and is pleased to share information about its activities.
How can someone make a request for information?
The easiest way for someone to make an FOI request is to email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also write to the Information Rights Officer at:
What is a Publication Scheme?
A Publication Scheme is a document setting down, in a clear and structured way, the different types of information about the University. Information is grouped into sections to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for.
What information is available in the Scheme?
The categories of information are as follows (as set out in the Information Commissioner's guidance):
- Who we are and what we do
- What we spend and how we spend it
- What our priorities are and how we are doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- Lists and registers
- The services we offer
When will information in the Scheme be published?
Information in the Scheme will only be published when it has been approved by the highest relevant University authority or, in the case of meeting minutes agendas, and papers, when the committee Chair has approved them.
For how long will information in the Scheme be published?
The most recent approved versions of policies or guidelines will be published. Council papers and minutes will be published on a rolling basis. Responses to consultation exercises will be published after approval for three months.
What about information not included in the Scheme?
The Freedom of Information Act has been in effect since January 2005 giving the public a general right of access to information held by the University. Requests for access must be made in writing and the University might charge a fee for providing the information. For more details on charging click here.
Once it has received the fee, the University must respond to requests within 20 working days by:
- confirming whether it holds the information requested, and
- either providing a copy or summary of the information, or arranging for the enquirer to inspect the information,
- or giving reasons why it has withheld the information
What about information about me?
Individuals already have the right of access to your personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such requests will be dealt with under the Data Protection Act.
What information won't the University publish?
The University will not publish the following information unless there is a legal obligation to do so:
- Any information on individual students, without their permission
- Any information on human research subjects, without their permission
- Any information on staff without their permission, other than that set down in this Scheme
- Information that might threaten the health or safety of staff, students or the public
- Information that might threaten the University’s commercial interests
- Information that is published elsewhere (see guidance below)
- Information that is intended for eventual publication
- Information on legal proceedings
- Information whose publication is forbidden by law or by a court order, or whose publication would place the University in contempt of court
- Information of a genuinely confidential nature
- Information covered by a claim of professional legal privilege
- Information that would prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or the prosecution of offenders
- Investigations being carried out by the University that might lead to criminal or civil proceedings
Any such information that is discussed by University committees will be taken as Reserved Business, and will not be published.
The University does not have to provide information if the cost of locating and retrieving it is more than £450, and it can refuse to answer requests from people who repeatedly ask for the same or similar information.
Information on the University Published Elsewhere
Information about the University is also published by:
The University of Bristol Acts 1909, 1960, 1974 can be purchased in hard copy and alternative formats from The Stationery Office:
TSO, PO Box 29, St Crispins, Duke Street, Norwich NR3 1GN, Tel 0870 600 5522, Fax 0870 600 5533, Email: email@example.com
The Information Commissioner
The Information Commissioner regulates Freedom of Information in the UK.