Records Management

Five key Freedom of Information points

The five key points every member of staff needs to know.

Freedom of information legislation allows any individual from any country the right to access information held by the University of Edinburgh. This information can be in any format, including paper files, word-processed documents, emails, spreadsheets and even Post-it notes. The legislation also requires the University to manage its records in line with good records management practice. If you receive a non routine enquiry (for information that you would not normally provide), treat it as a freedom of information request. Even if the enquiry doesn’t mention freedom of information explicitly, the University is obliged to respond within 20 working days. If you have any queries, consult your local information practitioner or the Records Management Section as soon as possible.

To help ensure the University of Edinburgh stays inside the law, be sure to:

  1. answer any request for information within 20 working days
  2. avoid complications by following procedures and providing any easily released information that relates to your area of work Request handling procedures
  3. contact your local information practitioner if you are unsure about any aspect of the request, if it does not relate to your area of work, or if you believe there are grounds to refuse the request Information practitioners
  4. always take a clear and professional approach when creating documents. Remember, all work documents, including emails, may need to be disclosed
  5. make your information accessible to other staff in your team so they can answer any requests for information in your absence.