Re-use of council data
Re-use means using public sector information, for a purpose other than the initial public task it was produced for. The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 are about permitting this re-use of information and how the information is made available. It is not about accessing information, which is dealt with under information access legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
Under the Regulations, any information that we produce, hold or disseminate within our public task must be re-useable by members of the public unless the information is restricted or excluded.
Statement of public task
Herefordshire Council's public task is the core role and functions as defined in legislation or established through custom and practice. Our role is to meet our statutory obligations and to exercise our functions (powers and duties) in areas which are devolved to us under various Acts of Parliament, such as the Local Government Acts. For example, we must run local services such as social care and waste collection, and carry out regulatory and enforcement activity in areas of planning and trading standards.
You can find a list of duties and statutes applicable to local authorities (not all of which apply to Herefordshire Council) at data.gov.uk.
How the regulations allow re-use of council data
Re-use means using public sector information for a purpose other than the initial public task it was produced for.
Information that we publish and/or release under information access legislation would normally be available for re-use under the terms of the Open Government Licence.
Please note that the Regulations do not apply to recorded information we hold if someone else holds the intellectual property rights (for example copyright or database right). We can only permit re-use if we hold the intellectual property rights in the information.
Other information that is excluded under the Regulations is:
- Information that falls outside the scope of our public task
- Parts of documents containing only logos, crests or insignia
- Information that contains personal data that must be protected
- Information exempt from disclosure under information access legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
List of information assets
Our information asset register is currently under review. It is being updated through a series of audits in preparation for the General Data Protection Regulations that come in to force in 2018. It may therefore not be accurate. The updated register will be published in 2018.
Make a request for re-use
To make a request for re-use to Herefordshire Council please:
- Submit the request by writing to the Information Governance Team, Herefordshire Council, Plough Lane, Hereford HR4 0LE or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Include your name ad address for correspondence
- Specify the information that you want to re-use and the purpose you intend to use it for
You do not need to make a request if we have already made the information available under the Open Government Licence by publishing it or through a request under information legislation, but you must follow the terms of the Open Government Licence.
When we receive a request to re-use information, we must respond within 20 working days. This time limit can be extended if the information is extensive or the request raises complex issues, but we must inform you of this within the 20 day period.
Information which has not already been disclosed
If the council has not previously disclosed the information requested, then we will deal with this as an access request under the appropriate legislation (as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental Information Regulations 2004) in order to decide whether the information is exempt. This will be the first stage of dealing with the request and once responded to we will then deal with the re-use request.
We will make the information for re-use available in the format and language in which it is held by the council. If we don't already hold it in an open format, but it is possible and appropriate to make it available in this way, then we will do so. There may be a charge for re-use, and a separate licence may need to apply, however we will advise if this is the case.
Charging for re-use
Charges for re-use will normally be disbursement costs, such as the cost of copying or sending the information requested, as set out in our charging policy. If information is placed on our web site or sent in response to a request under information access legislation, it will be available for re-use free of charge under the terms of the Open Government Licence unless otherwise stated on the website.
Exceptions to this will be when the council is required to generate revenue to cover either:
- A substantial part of the costs relating to our public task
- Documents for which we are required to generate revenue to cover a substantial part of our costs
- Libraries, museums and archives
The council will then use Regulation 15 of the Regulations, which sets out how the charge should be calculated, when considering the charge.
A separate licence may be applied as appropriate. Generally, the council will not enter into exclusive licensing arrangements with a particular person or organisation regarding re-use of our information.
Where the council makes a dataset available in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we will, so far as is reasonably practicable, make it available in a re-usable, electronic form. However, if the dataset falls under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations, for example because it is produced as part of our public task, then we will calculate any charges for allowing re-use and deal with any licences under the Regulations and not under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This applies to providing the dataset in response to a request and making it available on our web site.
For datasets covered by the Regulations, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 defines the format in which we must make the information available and the Regulations set out the charges and licences for re-use.
See our pages on open data for the datasets we have currently released. These are all available for re-use free of charge under the terms of the Open Government Licence.
Make a complaint
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of a request for re-use by the council, or need the council to review its decision on charging, licensing, refusal or any other aspect of the council's response, you should write to the Information Governance Team, Herefordshire Council, Plough Lane, Hereford HR4 0LE or email email@example.com