Anyone from anywhere may ask for any information held by QMUL, subject to certain exemptions. The request does not have to and may not mention the Freedom of Information Act.
The information has to be supplied within 20 working days of receipt of the application.
The College has a duty to advise and assist an applicant in the formulation of the enquiry. NB FOI requests are applicant- and purpose-blind. That means that the requester does not have to tell us why s/he wants the information and we are not allowed to ask. It does not matter who they are.
Fees may be chargeable but only in limited circumstances. If a Fees Notice is issued the clock stops until the fee is paid.
Some routine requests may be handled as business as usual, but check if in doubt.
Anyone who receives a request for information should forward the request to email@example.com
All requests are logged centrally.
Information that may be exempt from disclosure includes the following:
- Information accessible by other means (s.21)
- Personal information (s.40, as this is covered by the Data Protection Act)
- Information provided in confidence to the College by an external person or agency* (s.41)
- Information intended for future publication* (s.22)
- Information which may prejudice commercial interests* (s.43)
Before applying one of the exemptions marked * above on a particular piece of information it should be considered whether on balance it is in the public interest that the information be disclosed.
If it is decided that the requested information should not be disclosed the reasons for non-disclosure must be given, citing the relevant section from the Act. All replies to requesters must also give details about the right to appeal if dissatisfied.
In order to be able to comply with the Act it is essential that documents and records in all formats are properly managed in line with the College's Records Management policies and procedures.