Current Students Staff

Freedom of Information

Accessing Information

The Freedom of Information Act deals with access to official information and gives individuals or organisations the right to request information from any public authority. The Warden is ultimately responsible for maintaining the scheme on behalf of the College, and it may be reviewed from time to time.

A publication scheme (pdf) is a commitment by a public authority (the College) to make certain information available, and a guide to how that information can be obtained.

The purpose of the scheme is to give a clear indication of which College publications are routinely accessible, so that the public can be informed as far as is reasonably possible of the purpose and nature of College activities.

Through this scheme the College endeavours to be as transparent as possible about its activities while at the same time recognising that sensitive material such as that relating to individuals or which involves confidential commercial considerations cannot be made publicly available. All material associated with the definitions in the classes contained in the publication scheme for Keble College are available either in hard copy, electronically or via the College website.

A fee may be payable up to £20 to cover administration costs in reproducing requested information.

Contact details are given below.

The Warden’s PA
Keble College
Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3PG

Email: wardens.pa@keble.ox.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 272700
Fax: +44 (0) 1865 272705

Who does Freedom of Information (FoI) apply to?

FoI applies to all public bodies including government departments, the police, local authorities, schools, colleges etc.

What are the Access Rights?

Any body (whether an individual person or corporate body such as a private company) can apply to have access to any recorded information held by the College.

The reason for the request, if provided, is not taken into account in deciding whether particular information will be released or withheld. If a reason is not provided we will not ask you why the information is wanted.

Additionally, the Act also provides you with the right to be told whether the information you want exists or not, but again this is subject to certain exceptions.

You can specify the manner in which you wish to receive the information e.g. a copy, summary or to actually inspect the record. The College will attempt to comply with your request.

The Act is fully retrospective. This means that you can ask for any information held by the College irrespective of its age. For example, a document created in 1999 can be requested under the access to information provisions of the Act even though the Act provisions did not come into force until 1st January 2005.

A fee is payable and disclosure of information can be postponed until the fee has been paid. Applicants will have three months from the date of notification to pay the fee before his request lapses. If a fees notice is issued, time stops running from the issue of the notice until the fee is received.

Can I ask for information about myself under Freedom of Information?

Freedom of Information does not extend to the provision of personal information about yourself. Such requests will continue to be handled under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018. You can place a Subject Access Request using this form (pdf).

How do I make a request for information?

Your request for information must:

-be in writing
-be in permanent form (including e-mail and faxes)
-give your name for reply
-give an address for correspondence (an e-mail address would be acceptable)
-describe the information requested as far as you possibly can.

Who should I contact to ask for information?

You should, in the first place, approach the Warden’s PA. If the request is not for them to answer they will forward it on to the appropriate member of College.

How long should I wait for a reply?

A reply should be sent to you within 20 working days. If your request is complicated we may need longer than 20 working days but if this is the case we will let you know within the original 20 day period and will keep you informed of the progress of your request. Working days do not include any Saturday or Sunday or Christmas Day, Good Friday or bank holidays.

Will I be able to get any information I want?

Not always. The Act recognises that there will be valid reasons why some kinds of information may be withheld, such as if its release would prejudice national security or damage to commercial interests.

The College is not obliged to deal with vexatious or repeated requests. In addition the Act does not provide the right of access to personal information about yourself. This is instead available under Data Protection Act 2018, again subject to certain exemptions.

Can you refuse to give me the information I ask for?

The Act contains a number of exemptions to the right of access to information.

Most exemptions have to be considered in two stages:

-firstly whether the exemption applies to all or part of the information requested and, if so,
-is there a public interest in releasing the information which is greater than withholding it?

However, some information is covered by what is known as an “absolute” exemption. In these cases it is not necessary to consider whether there is a public interest in disclosure.

What happens if you don't give me the information I want?

A letter will be sent to you explaining why the information is not being sent to you. This letter will explain which exemption we believe applies to the information you have asked for. We will also explain why this exemption applies.

Is that the end of the matter?

No, if you are not happy with our decision you can ask us to have another look at your request and our decision. This review will be done by another member of College staff who was not part of the original decision-making process. This person will be of a more senior grade to the person who originally decided on your request. All aspects of your request will be looked at again and you will be informed of the reviewer’s new decision. This decision may be to support the original, may overturn it or may provide you with other information.

Who do I contact to ask for a review?

You should contact the person who wrote to you with the response to your request. That person will ensure that the papers relevant to your request will be passed to the appropriate person to re-examine your request.

What if I am still unhappy?

If you are still not satisfied after we have looked at your request again, you can then ask the Information Commissioner to look into the way your request has been handled. The Commissioner is an independent officer who is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen and who reports directly to Parliament. The Commissioner can see all the papers about your request and decide whether our decision is fair and meets the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

How can I contact the Information Commissioner?

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

Further information is available from ico.org.uk.