Freedom of Information: Guide for Applicants

1. Rights to information

The Freedom of Information Act provides members of the public with new rights of access to recorded information held by public authorities (including Roehampton University). These rights are however subject to a range of exemptions that aim to preserve confidentiality or to serve the public interest and allow the University to withhold information.

The Act gives applicants two new rights:

  1. to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request and, if that is the case,
  2. to have that information communicated to them, subject to specific exemptions.

2. Procedure for applicants

  1. Potential applicants are advised to browse the University's website before making a formal, written request for information.
  2. Information included in our website is exempt from the legal rules governing the processing of requests.
  3. A request must be in writing to be valid (by letter, email or fax). Applicants must provide their name, a contact address and a clear description of the information requested.
  4. To facilitate an efficient response we recommend that requests should be addressed to the most appropriate Department, School or College listed on the University's website.
  5. Applicants wishing to make a Subject Access Request, which is for personal information about him or her self, are advised to consult the University Data Protection Policy and apply to Human Resources or to their School.

3. The University's duties and further information

  1. The University has published a Freedom of Information Policy. We have duties to consider requests for information and to consider exemptions which prevent specific types of information from being provided. If an exemption is enforced and the information or part thereof cannot be supplied, an explanation will be provided.
  2. Fees may be applied in accordance with applicable legislation and University policy. Any fee must be paid before the requested information can be released. Please see our FoI Charging of Fees Policy and Schedule of Copying Costs for further details.

4. Complaints, informal and formal

If you are not satisfied with the way we have handled your request or with the reasons we have given for refusing to provide information, you have the right to complain.

We request that you first do this informally by discussing the issues with the member of staff that has replied to your request. You can also complain formally in writing to:

University Secretary
Roehampton University
Grove House
Roehampton Lane
SW15 5PJ

The Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing the implementation of the FoI Act. Once you have exhausted the University's complaints procedure you may if necessary complain to:

Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Additional contact details are available from the ICO website.