Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 applied in full to the University from 1 January 2005. From that date the University is:
required to disclose whether it holds information requested
to provide that information either routinely or on request,
or to explain why it does not have to provide the information requested because it falls into one of the exempt information categories.
The University has adopted and operates the approved Publication Scheme of the Information Commissioner’s Office Model Publication Scheme
and has produced a publication scheme specifying how to obtain routinely available information.
If you wish to ask for information held by the University of West London that is not available through the Publication Scheme, please submit your request in writing.
The University will respond to your request within 20 working days, providing no further clarification is needed.
Depending upon the cost of providing the information, we may be permitted to charge a fee in line with the Fees Regulations
For any information requiring more that £450 staff time (estimated to be 2.5 days) we are permitted to charge the full amount or refuse to provide the information. If we think that your request will cost that much we will let you know before proceeding. You then have the option of choosing to pay the full amount (and receive all the information that you requested) or to amend your request.
The University is permitted to charge for copying, printing and postage charges.
The University has a procedure for dealing with complaints in relation to both its handling of requests for information and publication scheme. If foreseeable complaints cannot be dealt with swiftly and satisfactorily on an informal basis the Information Commissioner should be contacted.
When communicating any decision made to refusing a request, in reliance on an exemption provision, public authorities are obliged, under section 17(7) of the Act notify the applicant of particulars of the procedure provided by the public authority for dealing with complaints (or to state that it does not have one). In doing so, they should provide full details of their own complaints procedure, including how to make a complaint and inform the applicant of the right to complain to the Commissioner under section 50 if he or she is still dissatisfied following the authority's review.
Any written reply from an applicant expressing dissatisfaction with the universities response to a request or compliance with the publication scheme will be treated as a complaint. These will be handled in accordance with the university’s complaints procedure, even if, in the case of a request for information under the general rights of access, the applicant does not expressly state his or her desire for the university to review the decision or how to handle the application. The university aims for the complaint procedure to be as prompt and simple as possible in order to come to a clear decision.
Where the complaint concerns a request for information under the general rights of access, the review will be undertaken by someone senior to the person who took the original decision, where this is reasonably practicable. The University will in any event undertake a full re-evaluation of the case, taking into account the matters raised by the investigation of the complaint.
In all cases, the complaints will be acknowledged promptly and the complainant should be informed of the authority's target date for determining the complaint. Where it is apparent that determination of the complaint will take longer than the target time (for example because of the complexity of the particular case), the university will inform the applicant and explain the reason for the delay.
The University targets a period of ten working days to acknowledge a request and twenty working days to determine a complaint. We aim to achieve these targets frequently yet times can vary according to the circumstances of the case. Records are kept of all complaints along with their outcome. The University has procedures in place for monitoring complaints and for reviewing procedures for dealing with requests for information where such action is indicated by more than occasional reversals of initial decisions.
Where the outcome of a complaint is a decision that information should be disclosed which was previously withheld, the information in question will be disclosed as soon as practicable and the applicant will be informed how soon this will be. Where the outcome of a complaint is that an initial decision to withhold information is upheld, or is otherwise in the university’s favour, it is the applicants right to apply to the Commissioner, and be given details of how to make an application, for a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of Part I of the Act.
The University of West London
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