The Freedom of Information Act (FoIA), passed on 30 November 2000, created a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by English, Welsh and Northern Irish public authorities that are not otherwise covered by the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. It also sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities.
The FoIA is intended to promote a culture of openness and accountability amongst public authorities and to facilitate better public understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions they do and how they spend public money.
How does the University fulfill its obligations under the Act?
The University fulfills its obligations in two primary ways: via its Publication Scheme and how it handles requests for information made to the University.
The University's Publication Scheme
As part of its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, the University of Warwick has adopted a Publication Scheme that has been approved by the Information Commissioner and that follows the standard format used by Higher Education bodies in the United Kingdom. The Scheme sets out details of classes of information the University will routinely make available to anyone who consults it, how the information will be published, how the information can be obtained and whether any charge will be made for this information. If you notice any errors/broken links with the University's Publication Scheme, you should contact the Legal Compliance Team in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org who may be able to help.
Freedom of Information Act Requests
A valid request for specific information about the University can now be made by anyone from anywhere in the world. It can relate to any area of University operations (excluding information about individuals) and does not have to explicitly refer to the Freedom of Information Act to fall under its provisions.
In all cases, the University is obliged by law to produce a final response to requests for information within 20 working days. The final response must either provide access to the information, refuse it, or not provide it on the basis that it is not held by the University. Refusals can only be given in a limited set of circumstances as stipulated by law. Simply acknowledging the request has been received is not considered to be a final response.
Although a Freedom of Information request can be made to any member of staff at the University, such requests will be dealt with much more rapidly if sent by email to email@example.com or mailed to:
Legal Compliance Team
Deputy Registrar's Office
University of Warwick
All requests must be made in writing. Please note that Freedom of Information requests cannot be made by telephone and in such cases the caller will be advised to make the request in writing.
The University Guidelines on Freedom of Information set out guidelines and proposed procedures for the implementation of the FoIA in the University and serve to inform staff, students and other members of the University of their rights and responsibilities under the Act.
The Administrative Officer for Legal Compliance can be contacted by telephone on (024) 761 51020 (ext. 51020) or at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is happy to answer questions from staff, students and the public about the University's legal compliance obligations, as well as to provide legal advice to members of staff.