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​​​​​​​​​​The Re-Use of Public Sector Information

The National Assembly for Wales ("National Assembly") has made a commitment to allow re-use of its information, wherever it is possible and reasonable to do so. If you would like more information about how to apply to re-use our information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions set out below. An alternative, printable version is also available (Re-use of Public Sector Information, Word 1.21MB.docx)

Following the introduction of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations (the PSI Regulations) in 2005, individuals and organisations can apply to the National Assembly for information we have created and re-use it for a purpose other than that for which it was originally produced.

The PSI Regulations establish a framework for making the re-use of information easier and complements existing access to information legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).   

 

They are designed to aid the utilisation of information held in the public sector and to allow re-use of these resources for the benefit of commercial exploitation.  

FOI and the EIR both provide a statutory public right of access to information held by public authorities subject to the application of legal exemptions in certain cases. However, although FOI and EIR give a right of access to publicly held information, it does not automatically give an applicant a right to re-use that information. The PSI Regulations are designed to enable you to apply to re-use public sector information upon the principles of fairness, transparency, non-discrimination and consistency of application.

The PSI Regulations mean that as a public sector body we must: 

  • publish a list of its documents which are available for re-use. This list is referred to as an Information Asset Register. Currently, the National Assembly’s Information Guide is contained within its Publication Scheme;

  • provide a clear statement on the arrangements for re-use of its information, including datasets; 

  • clearly explain any applicable charges for re-use and any licence terms and conditions; 

  • process applications for re-use in a timely, open and transparent manner and through fair, consistent and non-discriminatory processes; and 

  • establish a quick and easily accessible complaints process.

 

Information is generally produced by the National Assembly as part of its statutory duty to carry out public functions (its public task). A re-use of that information will occur when that information is used for a purpose other than that for which it was originally produced.

The PSI Regulations do not require the National Assembly to permit re-use of its documents but establishes a framework for making the re-use of information easier. Where the the National Assembly does permit a re-use to one party for a purpose which is outside the scope of our public task, the Regulations require us to consider requests from others in a fair and transparent manner. Where re-use is permitted by more than one party, this must be on the same terms and conditions for comparable categories of re-use.

 

Generally, the National Assembly will permit re-use of all of the documents listed in its Information Guide and published datasets (unless otherwise stated) under its Open Licence (based on the Non-Commercial Government Licence). 

If you would like to re-use a document which is not listed in the Publication Scheme or published as a dataset on our website, you can still apply to us and we will consider your application. 

Information which has been produced by the National Assembly and which is already reasonably accessible to you, for example, a policy document which is published on our website, but subject to our copyright may be re-used under the Open Licence.

 

Not always. We may refuse requests for one or more of the following reasons:  

  • Where the relevant intellectual property rights in the document are owned or controlled by a person or organisation other than the National Assembly. Examples of relevent intellectual property rights are copyright perforamnce rights, architectural drawings and database rights. If we refuse to allow re-use of a document which falls within this category, we will tell you who does own or control the intellectual property rights (where known to us), so that you can contact them direct. 

  • Where the document is exempt from disclosure under FOI, EIR, Data Protection Act 1998 or other legislation dealing with access to information. An exception to this rule is where section 21 of FOI applies. This section covers information which is exempt from disclosure because it is already ‘reasonably accessible to the applicant’, for example, information published on our website or information which we have a statutory duty to disclose to you (other than by way of inspection). 

  • Documents that fall outside the scope of our public task. 

  • Documents that have not been identified by the National Assembly as being available for re-use. 

  • In cases where a person is under a legal obligation to prove a particular interest in the information in order to gain access to it, for example, information which would only be released in response to a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 would not be available for re-use.

 

Yes – if we refuse your request for re-use, we must inform you in writing of the reason for refusal. We must also advise you of your rights of an internal review and appeal. 

 

An Information Asset List, known in the National Assembly as the Information Guide is a list of documents which a public sector body has identified as being available for re-use. The list may include both published and unpublished information. 

Currently, the National Assembly’s Information Guide can be found within its Publication Scheme. Unless otherwise stated, all documents held within the Publication Scheme are available for re-use subject to the Open Licence terms and conditions.

 

Once you have obtained access to the document you would like to re-use (perhaps via a Freedom of Information request or similar), you may apply to re-use it.  

In order to help us process your request as swiftly as possible please ensure that your application:

  • is in writing,

  • states your name and address, including any organisation you represent, contains full details of the document you would like to re-use and; 

  • contains the purposes for which you would like to re-use the document. 

Your request can be made by applying in writing or by email addressed to:

Access to Information Adviser
National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff
CF99 1NA

Email: Assembly-Accesstoinformation@assembly.wales

 

We must respond to your request within 20 working days. Where your request is received outside of normal working hours (i.e. evenings, weekends, bank holidays) it will be treated as having been received the next working day. If your application is complex or particularly extensive, we may require longer to process it, in which case, we will consult with you on extending the time limit. You will either receive a final offer permitting re-use together with any conditions of re-use or a refusal letter.  

Where possible, we will process your request electronically and also make the documents you wish to re-use available electronically. However, we do not have to create or adapt a document in order to comply with a request for re-use, nor are we required to provide an extract from a document where it would involve disproportionate effort, or continue to produce a certain type of document just so that someone else can re-use it.

 

We cannot discriminate between two applicants who request the same information. We cannot grant you exclusive rights to re-use the information, other than in exceptional circumstances e.g. where the arrangement is for the provision of a service in the public interest. By granting exclusive rights to one person or organisation it effectively means that nobody else, even the National Assembly, is able to use or publish the material in question. It is therefore potentially discriminatory and could raise competition issues.

 

If we agree that you can re-use our information, we will require you to agree to our terms and conditions of re-use. 
These terms and conditions are set out in our Licence.
 
Our Licence is referred to as the Open Government Licence and allows you to re-use our information, free of charge.

 

If we refuse your request to re-use our information, we will provide a written explanation of why your application has been refused and explain how you can complain, together with related rights of appeal.

If you want to make a to make a complaint about the way the National Assembly has handled your application for re-use or complain generally about our re-use policy and processes, you should write to:-

Access to Information Adviser
National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff
CF99 1NA

Email: Assembly-Accesstoinformation@assembly.wales

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint or the way in which we have handled your complaint generally, you are entitled to refer your complaint to the:-

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745

casework@ico.org.uk

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