Freedom of Information

You have the right to access information held by STFC under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The Freedom of Information Act ("the Act") establishes a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities; it sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities. Individuals are entitled, on making a request for information, to be informed in writing whether the information of the description specified in the request is held, and, if so, to have the information communicated, unless the information falls under one or more of the exemptions in the act.

More information about the Act

The Act gives a time limit of 20 working days for dealing with a request for information. If you are dissatisfied with our response you may request and internal review. There is also an appeal mechanism, where individuals may apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether their request has been dealt with in accordance with the Act.
A copy of the Act can be obtained for a charge, from Her Majesty's Stationery Office or it can be accessed on the Office of Public Sector Information website.

Making a request

Before sending your request, please check to see whether the information is already available on our website. Our publication scheme details the information we publish.

Your request for information must:

  • be made in writing (if information is requested in person or on the telephone, you will be asked to forward the request in writing and be provided with any help and advice you may need regarding their request)
  • provide your name, and address for correspondence (a return e-mail address is sufficient)
  • describe the information you require

You have the right to:

  • be told whether the information exists, except if it is covered by an absolute exemption
  • receive the information (if it exists), unless it is exempt
  • request information without referencing the Act when asking for the information
  • request the information without giving a reason and without STFC asking for a reason for the request

To make a request, please email or write to:

STFC Information Management Team
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Polaris House
Swindon
SN2 1SZ

Exemptions

Your right of access to information is subject to exemptions, further information about exemptions is available on the Information Commissioners website.

Fees

STFC will generally not charge for information that it has chosen to publish in its Publication Scheme and will endeavour to provide information free of charge whenever possible. In all cases where STFC chooses to charge for information published through the Publication Scheme, or levy a fee arising from an information request under general rights of access, a fees notice will be issued.

Processing the request

STFC is required to provide a substantive response to any request for information promptly and in any event within 20 working days. This can be extended if exemptions are being considered; STFC is required to respond within 20 working days detailing which exemptions are being considered and the estimated date for response.

Complaints Procedure

If you are not satisfied with the way STFC has handled your request, you can ask through our complaints procedure for an internal review. You should contact the STFC Information Management Team with your complaint in the first instance.

If you are not content with our response and the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner. You can contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: +44 (0)8456 306 060 / +44 (0)1625 545 745
Fax: +44 (0)1625 524 510

Publication Scheme

Under the Act all public authorities are required to adopt and maintain a publication scheme which commits the authority to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities.

The aim of the publication scheme is to set out:

  • The types (classes) of information that the STFC publishes, or intends to publish
  • How the information is, or will be published
  • Whether the information is, or will be made available free of charge or on payment

The purpose of the publication scheme is to ensure that a large amount of information is readily available to members of the public, without the need for specific consideration under the Freedom of Information Act.

Guide to information published by STFC

More information about the Publication Scheme

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has adopted the model scheme for non departmental public bodies (NDPBs) as required by the Information Commissioner and provides a guide to the information it publishes.

A significant amount of information is readily available on the STFC website or can be provided free or at a reasonable charge upon request. Information that is not published under this scheme can be requested in writing, when its provision will be considered in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. If you have any comments about the Publication Scheme, or if you think we have not supplied information in accordance with the Scheme please contact the STFC Information Management Team.

The STFC aims to deal with the investigation of complaints within 20 working days, and aims to complete internal reviews also within 20 working days. If, after the investigation of your complaint, you remain dissatisfied then you may ask for the matter to be reviewed internally. If you are still dissatisfied then you may refer your complaint to the Information Commissioner.

STFC Information Charter

Contacts

STFC Information Management Team
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Polaris House
Swindon
SN2 1SZ

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000