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Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005

The Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 ('the regulations') came into effect on 1st July 2005. They were introduced to encourage the re-use of information held by public bodies and local authorities where possible.

Under the new regulations the Council has to look at what information it holds and whether it can be re-used. The Council should hold a list of information assets suitable for re-use (information for which the public authorities listed in the Regulations hold the copyright), provide licences and charge a fee where appropriate for the information.

Information that is exempt under Access to Information legislation, (DPA, FOI and EIR) will remain exempt under PSI.

What is meant by re-use?

Information is available to the public by way of access to records legislation such as Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) or Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs). When requesting information, the applicant can also ask to re-use the information if it is released. Re-use means the re-production of the same information in a way that it was not originally intended for. This could include copying, adapting, develop or re-using for commercial purposes.

Information released under FOI or EIRs can be re-used providing you have our permission to do so. Without permission you may breach copyright law. If we do allow re-use, it must be done in accordance with the new regulations.


Information for which the Council holds the copyright may be released under access to information legislation but this does not automatically imply permission to reproduce it. Information released can be used for private purposes, but must not be used for commercial purposes unless you have advised you wish to re-use it. The Council must ensure the conditions for the re-use are clear and in keeping with the Council's copyright so a licence may be issued detailing such conditions.

Please note – these regulations do not affect the Council's copyright.

How do I get permission for re-use?

In a similar way to FOI and EIRs, requests for information for re-use purposes must be made in writing stating your name and a correspondence address. You must be specific about the information you require and, unlike FOI and EIR, you must state the purpose for which the document is to be re-used.

What happens next?

On receipt of your request for re-use under the new regulations, the Council has 20 working days in which to respond, although this timescale can be extended if the request is extensive or complex.

The information is collated and a decision will be made regarding the following:

  • If the information can be released
  • If the information can be re-used
  • If a licence for the reuse is required
  • If a charge applies

The Council will advise you of the above together with conditions for re-use and any fee that may apply. This must be paid before the information is released.

The information must be made available in an electronic form where possible.

Exemptions to re-use

As with FOI and EIRs, there are some exemptions which restrict re-use of the Council's information, for example:

  • The information is exempt under Access to Information legislation (FOI, DPA, EIRs)
  • Supplying and re-using the document falls outside it's 'public task'
  • Part of the information is not owned by the Council and the intellectual property rights belong to a third party

Charging for the re-use of documents

The Regulations allow the Council to levy a fee for the re-use of information so that it can make a 'reasonable return on investment'. Unlike FOI and EIRs, there are no fixed fees limits. Charges are determined on a case by case basis and the Council takes into account the following:

  • The Council's intellectual property, i.e. its commercial value
  • Staff time
  • Disbursements, i.e. postage and packing

Staff time is calculated based on a maximum hourly rate of £15 in keeping with the FOI Fees regulations however this may be subject to change dependant on the seniority of the member of staff required to process the request.

Publication scheme

The Council have produced a publication scheme under FOI detailing publications and documents the Council makes routinely available to the public.

This initiative will be built on and developed - as information suitable for re-use is identified, an asset list will be created. This list will include unpublished material. Where permission for re-use is granted, we will list the documents available.

Information assets can include databases, electronic files, collections of statistics, research etc. The Information asset list concentrates on information resources that have not yet been, or will not be formally published. We are currently working with departments to identify assets held by the Council which will be available for re-use in this way.


If you are unhappy with the way in which your request to re-use information has been handled, you can make a complaint.

The complaints procedure under the PSI Regulations works in the same way as the complaints procedure under FOI and EIRs. Please refer to the Council's Corporate complaints procedure.

The Government Department that oversees PSI is the Office for Public Sector Information (OPSI). If you are not satisfied with the Council's response to your complaint, you can complain direct to OPSI.

Further details about making complaints to OPSI is available.

The contact details for OPSI are:

The Standards Division
Admiralty Arch
North Side
The Mall
London SW1A 2WH

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Last updated: 9 March 2016

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