Reusing Public Sector Information

A guide to where and how public sector information we hold and produce during the course of our work is used.

Public sector information is a valuable information resource that could be used by the private sector and public.  To establish a framework for the effective re-use The Office of Public Sector Information have produced re-use regulations with which to adhere.

Access to a large proportion of public sector information is provided under Freedom of Information legislation. The Regulations do not change the access but instead provide a framework for re-use once access has been obtained. 

The regulations do not apply unless the information has already been provided, or is accessible by means other than making a request under freedom of information. 

Providing information under freedom of information does not confer any automatic right to re-use this information.

The Regulations only apply to copyright and related rights; database rights, publication rights and rights in performances.  They do not apply to other intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks and design rights.


The Regulations do not apply to:

Information that falls outside the scope of the public task of the council.

This covers those situations where we produce documents that are not directly related to its core responsibilities. 

Information in which the relevant intellectual property rights are owned or controlled by a person or organisation other than the council.

For example, we may hold documents that include material where the copyright is owned by a third-party.  However, this does not preclude us from authorising the re-use of those elements that are owned by us.   

Intellectual property rights other than copyright and its related rights.

Information exempt from release under access to information legislation. 

Re-use Of Information Requests

Applicants requesting re-use of information should submit requests in writing using the appropriate form.

This comes in two forms, commercial and non-commercial and can be requested by filling in the appropriate form.

Commercial Re-use Application Licence Form

Standard Licence Terms for Commercial Re-use of Public Sector Information (PDF)

Non-Commercial Re-use Application Licence Form

Standard Licence Terms for Non-Commercial Re-use of Public Sector Information (PDF)

Applicants should give their name and address, specify the information you want to re-use and state the purpose for which it is to be re-used.

Applications must be legible and submitted via the appropriate form so they can be filed for future reference. 

We must normally respond to requests within 20 work days beginning with the day after receipt.  However, the time can be extended in complex cases. 

We can respond in one of a number of ways. We may refuse to give permission to re-use, supply the information to the applicant and offer terms and conditions for re-use, often in the form of a licence.


Non-Commercial re-use

A charge will not be made where allowing re-use does not involve any additional cost to us or the cost does not exceed £20.

A charge may be made if re-use will result in additional cost to us. Unlike Freedom of Information, there are no fixed fee limits.  Where charges are made, the total income should not exceed the cost of collection, production, reproduction and dissemination of documents and a reasonable return on investment.  

Where charges are made, staff time is calculated on the basis of an hourly rate dependent on the seniority of the member of staff required to process the request.  Charges will be discussed with applicants.

Commercial re-use

We may charge a commercial rate for the re-use of Council information for any commercial purpose as set our in our Commercial Fees Policy. 

Information Asset Register

We are required to publish a list of information available for re-use.  Our Publication Scheme lists the information available for re-use.  This will be updated as appropriate.

The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) has the policy lead regarding the Information Asset Register (IAR) for central government.

OPSI is developing a model for the next generation IAR with advanced search capabilities that will enable public sector bodies to work in an effective way.  

Conditions For Re-use

We may impose conditions on re-use by issuing licences.  Their terms are applied fairly and openly to all applicants and are not anti-competitive.

Licences are based on the Open Government Licence developed in consultation with private sector re-users.

The licence terms are designed to be used in conjunction with our standard application forms to be processed as quickly as possible.