General right of access to information held by the University
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives the public the right, subject to certain exemptions enumerated in the Act, to access information held by public authorities (such as universities). It also requires such public authorities to make information available proactively through a publication scheme. The University has adopted the new Model Publication Scheme prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner.
Any person who makes a request to the University for information not made available through the publication scheme is entitled (subject to the exemptions enumerated in the Act) to be informed in writing whether the University holds the information requested and if so, to have the information communicated to him or her. The request must be in writing (including electronic formats such as email), must state the applicant’s name and an address for correspondence, and must contain a description of the information required.
A request for information must be clearly addressed to the University: the University will not respond to letters or emails which are not clearly addressed to and intended for the University. A downloadable FOI Information Request Form FOI-8 (PDF, 198kB) is available which facilitates the submission of a valid request. The form can be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or it can be printed off, completed and posted or faxed to:
Director of Legal Services
University of Southampton
Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 5781
Reviews and appeals
If you are not satisfied with the way in which we have dealt with your request or with any reasons we have given for refusing to provide information, you have the right to request a review. Requests for a review should be sent to the Chief Operating Officer, at the above address.
The Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing rights of access to information and the operation of the publication scheme. You may appeal to the Information Commissioner in writing (FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution, Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF) or electronically. The Information Commissioner will not normally take action unless he is satisfied that the University's review procedures have been exhausted.
Requests for personal information are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, but they are treated as requests for personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998. Applicants requesting personal information will be expected to fill in and submit a Subject Access Request Form DP7 (PDF, 138kB). Applicants will also be required to provide satisfactory proof of identity and to pay the appropriate fee (£10) by cheque or online transfer. The requirements are set out in paragraph 5 of the University’s Data Protection Policy (PDF, 462kB). Members of the University who submit an application electronically via their University email account will be deemed to have satisfied the requirement as to proof of identity. Payment of the appropriate fee may be made online here.
The University takes the safekeeping of personal information that it holds very seriously, and applicants requesting third-party personal information (i.e. personal information concerning a person other than themselves) should be aware that such information will not be disclosed except in the limited circumstances permitted both by law and by the University’s Data Protection Policy.