The Act is intended to promote a culture of openness and accountability amongst public sector bodies by providing people with rights of access to the information held by them. It is expected that these rights will 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.
We fully embrace the spirit of the Act and will do all that we can to promote this culture of openness and accountability. Under the Act, we have two main obligations:
- We must adopt and maintain a publication scheme (link – see below), setting out details of information we will routinely make available, how the information can be obtained and whether there is any charge for it.
- We must comply with requests for the information that we hold unless an exemption from disclosure applies. We will normally have a maximum of twenty working days to respond to the request, however there are circumstances when this time limit can be extended.
View our Freedom of Information Act - Publication Scheme page here.
How did Cranfield decide what information to publish?
Our publication scheme has been approved by the Information Commissioner to include all of the documents that we could identify that are relevant to be published to the public. These documents will be constantly reviewed and amendments made to the publication scheme.
What information won’t the University publish?
We will not publish the following information unless there is a legal obligation to do so:
- Any personal information on individual students/staff, without their permission
- Information that might threaten the health or safety of staff, students or the public
- Information relating to the security of University property or interests
- Information that might threaten the University's commercial interests
- Information of a genuinely confidential nature
- Information that is published elsewhere such as by HEFCE
- Information that is intended for eventual publication
- Information on legal proceedings
- Information whose publication is forbidden by law or by a court order, or whose publication would place the university in contempt of court
- Information covered by a claim of professional legal privilege
- Information that would prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or the prosecution of offenders
- Investigations being carried out by the university that might lead to criminal or civil proceedings
Any such information that is discussed by University committees will be taken as Reserved Business, and will not be published.
We do not have to provide information if the cost of locating and retrieving it is more than £450, and we can refuse to answer requests from people who repeatedly ask for the same or similar information.
If you feel that we are not making information available that we should, please contact us.
Will the University disclose information it holds about me or other individuals?
You already have the right of access to your own personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such requests will continue to be dealt with under the Data Protection Act.
Access to data on other individuals will still be covered by the Data Protection Act.
Do I have to pay for the documents I want to see?
There is no ‘flat rate’ fee to receive information and in many cases we will provide the information to you free of charge. However you should note that if the information you are seeking is not readily available in the form in which you are seeking it, we may charge you a fee based on the costs associated with providing the information, for example photocopying and postage (known as 'disbursements'). We can refuse a request if we estimate that it will cost in excess of £450 (estimated to be about two and a half days work) to fulfil your request.
You will be informed of any fees that will be charged before an enquiry is processed.
Under the terms laid out in the Act you then have three months to pay the fee or it will be assumed that the information is no longer required.
How do I get access to information that was created before the Publication Scheme started?
Our publication scheme includes all of our current documentation irrespective of the publish date; some documents have been created recently, whilst others have been in use for a number of years.
Documents that are retained within an archive will remain in the scheme as long as they are not exempt from it. Requests for these should be made in writing to the University.
Not all documents need to be retained by the University, in accordance with the Act. Once these documents are deleted or destroyed, they will no longer be available.
How do I make a Freedom of Information request?
Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) are required to be submitted in writing. E-mail requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have up to 20 working days to respond to FOI requests.
If you would like to submit an FOI request or would like to speak to someone about your Freedom of Information request, please contact:
T: +44 (0) 1234 754331
If your request is refused or is only answered partially a full explanation for our decision will be provided.
If you are unhappy with our response to your Freedom of Information request you will be entitled to appeal to the Chief Operating Officer who will nominate a Senior Officer of the University, who has not been involved in the original enquiry, to deal with your appeal.
Chief Operating Officer,
t: +44 (0) 1234 754331
If your internal appeal is refused you may wish to make an external appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office:
t: +44 (0) 8456 306060 or +44 (0) 1625 545745