Legislation concerning information held by public authorities such as universities is designed to be complementary. All written (or otherwise recorded) information held by public authorities in the UK, and all requests from the public to access this information, are covered by the legislation below:
- Data Protection Act (1998);
- Environmental Information Regulations (2004);
- Freedom of Information Act (2000).
All requests for information received by the College have legal significance under these laws. People have a right to direct a request to any member of staff without saying under what legislation they are doing so.
Council is responsible for ensuring that the College as a whole complies with all its legal obligations. It has published a Management Framework for Compliance with Information Law, which describes in formal terms how responsibilities are allocated in relation to information laws, and also defines specific general responsibilities for all staff.
- the implications of each of the responsibilities which Council has allocated to all staff, and to Heads of Department
- how to deal with situations which significant numbers of staff are likely to encounter routinely;
- which situations must be dealt with centrally in the College (and by whom).
There is no separate College Policy on the Environmental Information Regulations, but the requirements are similar to those of the Freedom of Information Act, and the Freedom of Information Policy and Guidelines have been constructed in such a way as to cover both.