Procedures for all University staff describing how to recognise an information request and the first steps to take.
Recognising an information request
- Any request for recorded information is technically a freedom of information request.
- A freedom of information request can be received by any member of University staff
- A freedom of information request does not need to mention the legislation
- A request for information can be part of wider correspondence
- Requests made through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are valid
- Check 'junk mail' folders regularly for any legitimate requests which have been misdirected
Once a request has been received by a member of staff it has been received by the University and any response you give is a reply under the legislation on behalf of the University.
What to do with a request
"Business as usual" requests
If the request is one that you would answer as a normal part of your job (for example, sending out a prospectus) then deal with it as you would normally, ensuring you respond within 20 working days.
In all other cases, use the following guidance to determine whether the request should be dealt with locally, or passed to your freedom of information practitioner.
Requests that should be answered locally
If the answer to ALL of the assessment questions below is 'yes', AND the request does not fall into any of the special handling procedure categories, follow the procedures for requests that should be answered locally.
If the answer to ANY of the assessment questions below is 'no', 'not sure' or 'don't know', OR the request falls into any of the special handling procedure categories, contact your local freedom of information practitioner immediately.
Requests that don't require central input
Special handling procedures (secured)
- Does the request fall entirely within your remit and job responsibilities?
- Is the request clear, and you understand what is wanted?
- Does your business unit 'own' the requested information? (For example in most cases student data is 'owned' by Student Systems.)
- Can you and your unit answer the request in full to the applicant's complete satisfaction without outside assistance?
- Can you provide ALL of the requested information without ANY concern?
- Can you provide ALL of the requested information within no more than one day's work?