Freedom of Information
One of the obligations for public bodies under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is that they produce and maintain a publication scheme. This is essentially a guide to the information they routinely make available to the public in hard copy or in electronic format. The purpose behind these schemes is to help the public understand what publicly funded bodies do and how they do it.
The University of Bolton has adopted the model publication scheme for Higher Education approved by the Information Commissioner's Office. It is publicly available on the University web site and also in hard copy format (a copy will be available from the University Library for reference).
By following the model, it should mean that our scheme has a similar format to the schemes produced by other higher education Universitys and this should make it easier for users to find information about the University and to compare information across the sector. The scheme should also act as a useful reference tool for University staff to find out more about the University.
Freedom of Information Guidance
Any queries on the information included within the scheme and requests for information which is not available on the website should be addressed to the Academic Contracts and Compliance Officer at the following address:
Academic Contracts and Compliance Officer
University of Bolton
Requests for Information
The information in the scheme can be provided in either electronic or/and hard copy. Anyone requiring access to a hard copy publication can contact the Academic Contracts and Compliance Officer. Most information can be provided free of charge, but there is a fee for some hard copy information and if this is the case it is stated within the scheme.
What about information not included in the publication scheme?
From 1 January 2005 the public have had the right, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, to request information held by the University, which has not already been made available through the publication scheme.
Requests must be made in writing and, in general, the University will have 20 working days to respond. The applicant has the right to be told whether or not the University has the information they are seeking, and to have such information communicated to them. If the information has been destroyed, the University must show that it has been destroyed in accordance with good business practice (a records retention schedule will be accepted as evidence of good practice). A fee may be charged for information and this must be paid in advance.
A request for information may be refused if an exemption exists. There are twenty-three exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act and include, personal information (covered by the Data Protection Act), information which may endanger the physical or mental health or personal security of any individual, and information intended for future publication. The University may also refuse to disclose information for the following reasons: when a requester, following prompting and assistance, does not give enough of a description of the information required to allow that information to be identified; when requests are vexatious or repeated; and if any fee charged is not paid within three months.
During the year further guidance will be offered to help staff understand more about Freedom of Information and the impact that it may have on the University.
For further information about Freedom of Information (including a full list of exemptions) please see the Information Commissioner’s website www.ico.gov.uk.
Who we are and what we do
Organisational Information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance
What we spend and how we spend it
Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurements and contracts.
What our priorities are and how we are doing
Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews
How we make decisions
Policy proposals and decisions. Decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.
Our policies and procedures
Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.
Lists and registers Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority. Staff Contacts List
The services we offer Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases. A description of the services offered.
The copyright in this publication scheme and its contents is reserved to the University of Bolton.
Review of the Publication Scheme
The guide and information available of the publication scheme will be reviewed annually.