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Re-use of Public Sector Information

Two arrows in circular shape

The re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 provides a framework for decisions by the council on requests from people to apply to re-use information held by the council.

'Re-use' means using the information for a purpose other than the purpose for which the document was originally produced. This could include a commercial purpose.

The Regulations do not provide access to the information itself.

Requests for access to information will be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act, Environmental Information Regulations and numerous other information access provisions.

Open data

Before you request information from us you should check if it is already available via our Open data page.

How do I make a request to re-use information?

To be valid a request must:

  • be in writing
  • state your name and address
  • specify the document which you want to re-use
  • specify the purpose you intend to use it for

Your request can be made by applying in writing to: 

Governance Officer 
Preston City Council
Town Hall
Lancaster Road
Preston
PR1 2RL

Does the council have to respond within a set time?

We must respond to your request within 20 working days. Where your request is received outside normal working hours (i.e. evenings and weekends) it will be treated as having been received the next working day.

Sometimes it may be necessary to extend the time limit. Where this happens we will tell you before the end of the 20 working day deadline why we are extending the time limit and the date on which we expect to be able to respond.

Responding to a request means:

  • making the requested document available for re-use, or
  • where conditions are attached to the re-use, finalising the offer to you of the conditions on which re-use will be permitted, or
  • refusing the request

Will I always be granted permission to re-use documents?

Not always. The Regulations allow the council to refuse requests for one or more of the following reasons:

  • the document contains information in which intellectual property rights are owned by a third party; for example architectural drawings which the council has commissioned from an architect who retains the copyright
  • the content of the document is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • the document falls outside the council's statutory functions

Will I be told why you have refused to let me re-use the information?

Yes - if we refuse your request for re-use we must inform you in writing of the reason for refusal.

We must also advise you of your rights of an internal review and of appeal.

Where the refusal is because intellectual property rights are owned by a third party we have to tell you who owns the relevant intellectual property rights, where we got that information; or the name of the person from whom we obtained the document.

Processing requests for re-use

Where possible we will process your request electronically and also make the documents you wish to re-use available electronically.

However, we do not have to create or adapt a document in order to comply with a request for re-use; nor are we required to provide an extract from a document where it would involve disproportionate effort, or continue to produce a certain type of document just so that someone else can re-use it.

Will I be able to re-use information in any way I choose?

No. Sometimes, but not always, we will impose conditions on re-use. Where we do this these conditions will be imposed by Licence, but they will not unnecessarily restrict the way in which a document can be re-used or restrict competition.

What happens if someone else wants to re-use the same information?

We cannot discriminate between two applicants who request the same information. Both requests have to be dealt with.

We cannot grant you exclusive rights to re-use the information, except where the arrangement is for the provision of a service in the public interest. If you are granted exclusive rights, these will be reviewed every 12 months and the details of the exclusivity agreement may have to be published on our web-site.

Will I have to pay for re-use information?

You may have to pay. We can charge for the marginal costs of reproducing, providing and disseminating the information.

If you ask, we can provide a breakdown of how charges have been calculated.

What happens if I'm not happy with how you have handled my request?

You can channel your complaint via the Council's complaints page..

If you are still unhappy after the council's Complaints Procedure has been completed you can contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

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