The Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act (2000) came into force in 2005 and gives members of the public a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. It also sets out exemptions from that right, and places a number of obligations on public authorities. The Act was introduced to promote accountability and transparency in the public sector. Under the Freedom of Information Act, Birmingham City University is considered to be a public authority and therefore must be compliant with the terms of the Act.
Every Public Authority must;
- Proactively publish information about our activities in line with guidance from the information Commissioner’s office, in a Publication Scheme. This is a guide to all the information that is routinely published.
- Make information that we hold available to those who request it within 20 working days, unless non-disclosure is permissible under one of the exemptions listed in the Act.
Making a Freedom of Information request
A large proportion of our information is already accessible on the website, or via our publication scheme. However, if you cannot find information that you require, you can submit a Freedom of Information Request under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000.
In order to be considered a valid request under the FOI Act, a request for information should:
- Be in writing - This includes letters, emails and even tweets.
- Include a contact address to which we can reply. This includes a postal address, email address or even a twitter @name.
Any written request received by the University will be responded to within 20 working days. Where possible, we will provide the information in the manner you request. However, some information may be exempt from disclosure. Where this is the case, we will clearly explain which exemption we have applied and why.
To help us with our search, we encourage you to be as specific as possible when describing the information that you are requesting. This will also allow us to give a prompt response and ensure that we provide you with all of the relevant information that you request.
The University may charge a fee for the information or disbursements (postage, photocopying etc where reasonable).
To make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, please complete our request form and send it to FreedomOfInformation@bcu.ac.uk.
Alternatively, if you wish to submit your request in writing, please send it to;
Information Management Team
Birmingham City University
3rd Floor, Joseph Priestley Building,
There is also some helpful guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office on how to make a request.