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Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005

This creates a general legal right by the worldwide public, hereafter referred to as applicants, to re-use that information that has already been requested from public authorities (such as Coventry City Council) through the Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Rights under the re-use of public sector information regulations

In summary the Regulations promote the re-use of information for which Coventry City Council owns the copyright. 

When Coventry City Council releases information, which was requested under access to information legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004, an applicant may ask if they can re-use the information for a purpose other than the initial purpose for which the document was produced. An applicant's intentions may be for commercial purposes, in a way, which, without permission, might breach the Council's copyright. It is this sort of situation with which the Regulations are concerned.

What are the basics of the regulations?

Coventry City Council is not obligated to make public sector information available for re-use, but if the Council does allow re-use of any of our public sector information, this has to be done in accordance with the Regulations. In these circumstances the Regulations set out:

  • A 20 working day time-frame for a response to a request for re-use. This period may be extended where the request is extensive in quality or raises complex issues.
  • That the Council has the right to refuse the re-use of documents provided they fall outside the scope of the Regulations.

How can people make a request

Rights of access will apply to all types of Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004 information, held by Coventry City Council regardless of the date of the information:

  • Any person or organisation may apply. Access is not confined to UK citizens and permanent residents; foreign nationals may also apply.
  • A request must be in writing.
  • An applicant must state their full name in writing.
  • A request must give an address for correspondence.
  • A request must specify the document requested.

The applicant must state the purpose for which the document is to be re-used.

Information asset list

Coventry City Council has an obligation to publish a list of the main documents available for re-use, preferably in an electronic format. Often these information sources have been developed as "Publication Schemes" to meet local authorities' obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Coventry City Council has a Publication Scheme. Hard copies are also located at Council reception desks.

Conditions of re-use

If an applicant makes a request to re-use information for which Coventry City Council holds the copyright, and the Council agrees in principle to the request, the Council would communicate to them the conditions for re-use and other licence terms. The Council will issue licenses, which will include the conditions for re-use, on a case-by-case basis.

Response times

The Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations will, normally require Coventry City Council to respond to an applicant's enquiry within 20 working days from the day on which the Council received their request.

Exemptions to disclosure

Once Coventry City Council has agreed to make types of information available for re-use, thereafter the basis for refusing to provide any of the specific information of that type will be limited. Re-use can be refused if:

  • The activity of supplying the document is one, which falls outside its public task.
  • The document contains content in which relevant intellectual property rights are owned by a third party.
  • The content of the document is exempt from access by virtue of the Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Complaints and appeals

Complaints - Applicants of information may complain to Coventry City Council about how the Council has managed their request, e.g. they may wish to complain about the:

  • Failure to respond to their request within 20 working days (or failure to explain why longer than 20 working days is needed).
  • Failure to provide information in the form in which they requested it.
  • Failure to provide them with proper advice and assistance.

Appeals - Where Coventry City Council has declined to provide information; then an applicant will have been sent an explanatory Refusal Letter.  The reasons may include:

  • Failure to provide all/part of the information that they requested.
  • Failure to correctly apply an:
    • Exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and/or;
    • Exception under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
  • Failure to properly explain any reasons for refusing their request.

The proposed appeals procedure set up by Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 works in the same way as the appeals procedure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004, except that the Government's Office of Public Sector Information is the ultimate authority to which to complain for Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 appeals. 

The applicant can complain to Office of Public Sector Information only after their complaint has first been sent to Coventry City Council (as the authority to which their request for re-use of information was made) and if they are not satisfied with the response to their complaint/appeal.

If an applicant is unhappy with the way Coventry City Council has handled their request, they may ask for an internal review. Applicants are advised to contact the Information Governance Team, who will arrange an internal review of their case.

Information Governance


Tel: 024 7683 3323

Room 64
Council House
Earl Street

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