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Freedom of Information Act 2000

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Part IE+W+S+N.I. Access to information held by public authorities

Right to informationE+W+S+N.I.

1 General right of access to information held by public authorities.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled—

(a)to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, and

(b)if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

(2)Subsection (1) has effect subject to the following provisions of this section and to the provisions of sections 2, 9, 12 and 14.

(3)Where a public authority—

(a)reasonably requires further information in order to identify and locate the information requested, and

(b)has informed the applicant of that requirement,

the authority is not obliged to comply with subsection (1) unless it is supplied with that further information.

(4)The information—

(a)in respect of which the applicant is to be informed under subsection (1)(a), or

(b)which is to be communicated under subsection (1)(b),

is the information in question held at the time when the request is received, except that account may be taken of any amendment or deletion made between that time and the time when the information is to be communicated under subsection (1)(b), being an amendment or deletion that would have been made regardless of the receipt of the request.

(5)A public authority is to be taken to have complied with subsection (1)(a) in relation to any information if it has communicated the information to the applicant in accordance with subsection (1)(b).

(6)In this Act, the duty of a public authority to comply with subsection (1)(a) is referred to as “the duty to confirm or deny”.

2 Effect of the exemptions in Part II.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where any provision of Part II states that the duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to any information, the effect of the provision is that where either—

(a)the provision confers absolute exemption, or

(b)in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny outweighs the public interest in disclosing whether the public authority holds the information,

section 1(1)(a) does not apply.

(2)In respect of any information which is exempt information by virtue of any provision of Part II, section 1(1)(b) does not apply if or to the extent that—

(a)the information is exempt information by virtue of a provision conferring absolute exemption, or

(b)in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

(3)For the purposes of this section, the following provisions of Part II (and no others) are to be regarded as conferring absolute exemption—

(a)section 21,

(b)section 23,

(c)section 32,

(d)section 34,

(e)section 36 so far as relating to information held by the House of Commons or the House of Lords,

[F1(ea)in section 37, paragraphs (a) to (ab) of subsection (1), and subsection (2) so far as relating to those paragraphs,]

(f)in section 40—

(i)subsection (1), and

(ii)subsection (2) so far as relating to cases where the first condition referred to in that subsection is satisfied by virtue of subsection (3)(a)(i) or (b) of that section,

(g)section 41, and

(h)section 44.

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Amendments (Textual)

3 Public authorities.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)In this Act “public authority” means—

(a)subject to section 4(4), any body which, any other person who, or the holder of any office which—

(i)is listed in Schedule 1, or

(ii)is designated by order under section 5, or

(b)a publicly-owned company as defined by section 6.

(2)For the purposes of this Act, information is held by a public authority if—

(a)it is held by the authority, otherwise than on behalf of another person, or

(b)it is held by another person on behalf of the authority.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 3 modified (29.9.2008 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Bradford & Bingley plc Transfer of Securities and Property etc. Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2546), art. 41

C2S. 3 modified (7.10.2008 at 9.30 a.m.) by The Heritable Bank plc Transfer of Certain Rights and Liabilities Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2644), art. 29

C3S. 3(1)(b) modified (30.3.2009 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Amendments to Law (Resolution of Dunfermline Building Society) Order (S.I. 2009/814), {art. 8(1)(a)(2)}

C4S. 3(1)(b) modified (22.2.2008) by The Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/432), art. 18(2)(a)

C7S. 3(2)(b) modified (30.3.2009 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Amendments to Law (Resolution of Dunfermline Building Society) Order (S.I. 2009/814), {art. 8(1)(b)(2)}

C8S. 3(2)(b) modified (8.10.2008 at 12.15 p.m.) by The Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Limited Transfer of Certain Rights and Liabilities Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2674), art. 31

C9S. 3(2)(b) modified (22.2.2008) by The Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/432), art. 18(2)(b)

4 Amendment of Schedule 1.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The [F2Secretary of State] [F3or the [F4Minister for the Cabinet Office]] may by order amend Schedule 1 by adding to that Schedule a reference to any body or the holder of any office which (in either case) is not for the time being listed in that Schedule but as respects which both the first and the second conditions below are satisfied.

(2)The first condition is that the body or office—

(a)is established by virtue of Her Majesty’s prerogative or by an enactment or by subordinate legislation, or

(b)is established in any other way by a Minister of the Crown in his capacity as Minister, by a government department or by [F5the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly Government].

(3)The second condition is—

(a)in the case of a body, that the body is wholly or partly constituted by appointment made by the Crown, by a Minister of the Crown, by a government department or by [F6the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly Government], or

(b)in the case of an office, that appointments to the office are made by the Crown, by a Minister of the Crown, by a government department or by [F6the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly Government].

(4)If either the first or the second condition above ceases to be satisfied as respects any body or office which is listed in Part VI or VII of Schedule 1, that body or the holder of that office shall cease to be a public authority by virtue of the entry in question.

(5)The [F2Secretary of State] [F7or the [F8Minister for the Cabinet Office]] may by order amend Schedule 1 by removing from Part VI or VII of that Schedule an entry relating to any body or office—

(a)which has ceased to exist, or

(b)as respects which either the first or the second condition above has ceased to be satisfied.

(6)An order under subsection (1) may relate to a specified person or office or to persons or offices falling within a specified description.

(7)Before making an order under subsection (1), the [F2Secretary of State] [F9or the [F10Minister for the Cabinet Office]] shall—

(a)if the order adds to Part II, III, IV or VI of Schedule 1 a reference to—

(i)a body whose functions are exercisable only or mainly in or as regards Wales, or

(ii)the holder of an office whose functions are exercisable only or mainly in or as regards Wales,

consult [F11the Welsh Ministers], and

(b)if the order relates to a body which, or the holder of any office who, if the order were made, would be a Northern Ireland public authority, consult the First Minister and deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland.

(8)This section has effect subject to section 80.

(9)In this section “Minister of the Crown” includes a Northern Ireland Minister.

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Amendments (Textual)

F5Words in s. 4(2)(b) substituted by The Government of Wales Act 2006 (Consequential Modifications and Transitional Provisions) Order 2007 (S.I. 2007/1388), art. 3, Sch. 1 para. 78(2) (the amendment coming into force immediately after the end of "the initial period" (which ended with the day of the first appointment of a First Minister on 25.5.2007) in accordance with art. 1(2)(3) of the amending S.I. and see ss. 46, 161(5) of Government of Wales Act 2006 (c. 32))

F6Words in s. 4(3)(a)(b) substituted by The Government of Wales Act 2006 (Consequential Modifications and Transitional Provisions) Order 2007 (S.I. 2007/1388), art. 3, Sch. 1 para. 78(3) (the amendment coming into force immediately after the end of "the initial period" (which ended with the day of the first appointment of a First Minister on 25.5.2007) in accordance with art. 1(2)(3) of the amending S.I. and see ss. 46, 161(5) of Government of Wales Act 2006 (c. 32))

F11Words in s. 4(7)(a)(ii) substituted by The Government of Wales Act 2006 (Consequential Modifications and Transitional Provisions) Order 2007 (S.I. 2007/1388), art. 3, Sch. 1 para. 78(4) (the amendment coming into force immediately after the end of "the initial period" (which ended with the day of the first appointment of a First Minister on 25.5.2007) in accordance with art. 1(2)(3) of the amending S.I. and see ss. 46, 161(5) of Government of Wales Act 2006 (c. 32))

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C11S. 4(1) functions made exercisable concurrently (9.12.2015) by The Transfer of Functions (Information and Public Records) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/1897), arts. 1(2), 3(1), (2)(a) (with art. 5)

C12S. 4(5)(7) functions made exercisable concurrently (9.12.2015) by The Transfer of Functions (Information and Public Records) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/1897), arts. 1(2), 3(1), (2)(a) (with art. 5)

5 Further power to designate public authorities.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The [F12Secretary of State] [F13or the [F14Minister for the Cabinet Office]] may by order designate as a public authority for the purposes of this Act any person who is neither listed in Schedule 1 nor capable of being added to that Schedule by an order under section 4(1), but who—

(a)appears to the Secretary of State[F13or the [F14Minister for the Cabinet Office]] to exercise functions of a public nature, or

(b)is providing under a contract made with a public authority any service whose provision is a function of that authority.

(2)An order under this section may designate a specified person or office or persons or offices falling within a specified description.

(3)Before making an order under this section, the [F12Secretary of State] [F15or the [F16Minister for the Cabinet Office]] shall consult every person to whom the order relates, or persons appearing to him to represent such persons.

(4)This section has effect subject to section 80.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C13S. 5(1)(3) functions made exercisable concurrently (9.12.2015) by The Transfer of Functions (Information and Public Records) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/1897), arts. 1(2), 3(1), (2)(b) (with art. 5)

6 Publicly-owned companies.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A company is a “publicly-owned company” for the purposes of section 3(1)(b) if—

(a)it is wholly owned by the Crown, F17...

(b)it is wholly owned by [F18the wider public sector] [F19, or

(c)it is wholly owned by the Crown and the wider public sector.]

[F20(2)For the purposes of this section—

(a)a company is wholly owned by the Crown if, and only if, every member is a person falling within sub-paragraph (i) or (ii)—

(i)a Minister of the Crown, government department or company wholly owned by the Crown, or

(ii)a person acting on behalf of a Minister of the Crown, government department or company wholly owned by the Crown,

(b)a company is wholly owned by the wider public sector if, and only if, every member is a person falling within sub-paragraph (i) or (ii)—

(i)a relevant public authority or a company wholly owned by the wider public sector, or

(ii)a person acting on behalf of a relevant public authority or of a company wholly owned by the wider public sector, and

(c)a company is wholly owned by the Crown and the wider public sector if, and only if, condition A, B or C is met.

(2A)In subsection (2)(c)—

(a)condition A is met if—

(i)at least one member is a person falling within subsection (2)(a)(i) or (ii),

(ii)at least one member is a person falling within subsection (2)(b)(i) or (ii), and

(iii)every member is a person falling within subsection (2)(a)(i) or (ii) or (b)(i) or (ii),

(b)condition B is met if—

(i)at least one member is a person falling within subsection (2)(a)(i) or (ii) or (b)(i) or (ii),

(ii)at least one member is a company wholly owned by the Crown and the wider public sector, and

(iii)every member is a person falling within subsection (2)(a)(i) or (ii) or (b)(i) or (ii) or a company wholly owned by the Crown and the wider public sector, and

(c)condition C is met if every member is a company wholly owned by the Crown and the wider public sector.]

(3)In this section—

  • company” includes any body corporate;

  • Minister of the Crown” includes a Northern Ireland Minister.

  • [F21relevant public authority ” means any public authority listed in Schedule 1 other than—

    a government department, or

    any authority which is listed only in relation to particular information]

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Amendments (Textual)

F18Words in s. 6(1)(b) substituted (1.9.2013) by Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (c. 9), ss. 103(2)(b), 120 (with s. 97); S.I. 2013/1906, art. 3(b)

F19S. 6(1)(c) and word inserted (1.9.2013) by Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (c. 9), ss. 103(2)(c), 120 (with s. 97); S.I. 2013/1906, art. 3(b)

F20S. 6(2)(2A) substituted for s. 6(2) (1.9.2013) by Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (c. 9), ss. 103(3), 120 (with s. 97); S.I. 2013/1906, art. 3(b)

F21Words in s. 6(3) inserted (1.9.2013) by Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (c. 9), ss. 103(4), 120 (with s. 97); S.I. 2013/1906, art. 3(b)

7 Public authorities to which Act has limited application.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where a public authority is listed in Schedule 1 only in relation to information of a specified description, nothing in Parts I to V of this Act applies to any other information held by the authority.

(2)An order under section 4(1) may, in adding an entry to Schedule 1, list the public authority only in relation to information of a specified description.

(3)The [F22Secretary of State] [F23or the [F24Minister for the Cabinet Office]] may by order amend Schedule 1—

(a)by limiting to information of a specified description the entry relating to any public authority, or

(b)by removing or amending any limitation to information of a specified description which is for the time being contained in any entry.

(4)Before making an order under subsection (3), the [F22Secretary of State] [F25or the [F26Minister for the Cabinet Office]] shall—

[F27(a)if the order relates to the National Assembly for Wales or a Welsh public authority referred to in section 83(1)(b)(ii) (subsidiary of the Assembly Commission), consult the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales,

(aa)if the order relates to the Welsh Assembly Government or a Welsh public authority other than one referred to in section 83(1)(b)(ii), consult the First Minister for Wales,]

(b)if the order relates to the Northern Ireland Assembly, consult the Presiding Officer of that Assembly, and

(c)if the order relates to a Northern Ireland department or a Northern Ireland public authority, consult the First Minister and deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland.

(5)An order under section 5(1)(a) must specify the functions of the public authority designated by the order with respect to which the designation is to have effect; and nothing in Parts I to V of this Act applies to information which is held by the authority but does not relate to the exercise of those functions.

(6)An order under section 5(1)(b) must specify the services provided under contract with respect to which the designation is to have effect; and nothing in Parts I to V of this Act applies to information which is held by the public authority designated by the order but does not relate to the provision of those services.

(7)Nothing in Parts I to V of this Act applies in relation to any information held by a publicly-owned company which is excluded information in relation to that company.

(8)In subsection (7) “excluded information”, in relation to a publicly-owned company, means information which is of a description specified in relation to that company in an order made by the [F22Secretary of State] [F28or the [F29Minister for the Cabinet Office]] for the purposes of this subsection.

(9)In this section “publicly-owned company” has the meaning given by section 6.

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Amendments (Textual)

F27S. 7(4)(a)(aa) substituted for s. 7(4)(a) by The Government of Wales Act 2006 (Consequential Modifications and Transitional Provisions) Order 2007 (S.I. 2007/1388), art. 3, Sch. 1 para. 79 (the amendment coming into force immediately after the end of "the initial period" (which ended with the day of the first appointment of a First Minister on 25.5.2007) in accordance with art. 1(2)(3) of the amending S.I. and see ss. 46, 161(5) of Government of Wales Act 2006 (c. 32))

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C14S. 7(3) functions made exercisable concurrently (9.12.2015) by The Transfer of Functions (Information and Public Records) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/1897), arts. 1(2), 3(1), (2)(c) (with art. 5)

C15S. 7(4)(8) functions made exercisable concurrently (9.12.2015) by The Transfer of Functions (Information and Public Records) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/1897), arts. 1(2), 3(1), (2)(c) (with art. 5)

8 Request for information.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)In this Act any reference to a “request for information” is a reference to such a request which—

(a)is in writing,

(b)states the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence, and

(c)describes the information requested.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(a), a request is to be treated as made in writing where the text of the request—

(a)is transmitted by electronic means,

(b)is received in legible form, and

(c)is capable of being used for subsequent reference.

9 Fees.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A public authority to whom a request for information is made may, within the period for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice in writing (in this Act referred to as a “fees notice”) stating that a fee of an amount specified in the notice is to be charged by the authority for complying with section 1(1).

(2)Where a fees notice has been given to the applicant, the public authority is not obliged to comply with section 1(1) unless the fee is paid within the period of three months beginning with the day on which the fees notice is given to the applicant.

(3)Subject to subsection (5), any fee under this section must be determined by the public authority in accordance with regulations made by the [F30Minister for the Cabinet Office].

(4)Regulations under subsection (3) may, in particular, provide—

(a)that no fee is to be payable in prescribed cases,

(b)that any fee is not to exceed such maximum as may be specified in, or determined in accordance with, the regulations, and

(c)that any fee is to be calculated in such manner as may be prescribed by the regulations.

(5)Subsection (3) does not apply where provision is made by or under any enactment as to the fee that may be charged by the public authority for the disclosure of the information.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I1S. 9 wholly in force at 1.1.2005; s. 9 in force at Royal Assent to the extent that it confers power to make regulations, see s. 87(1)(m)(3); s. 9 otherwise in force at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/3122, art. 2

10 Time for compliance with request.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a public authority must comply with section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt.

(2)Where the authority has given a fees notice to the applicant and the fee is paid in accordance with section 9(2), the working days in the period beginning with the day on which the fees notice is given to the applicant and ending with the day on which the fee is received by the authority are to be disregarded in calculating for the purposes of subsection (1) the twentieth working day following the date of receipt.

(3)If, and to the extent that—

(a)section 1(1)(a) would not apply if the condition in section 2(1)(b) were satisfied, or

(b)section 1(1)(b) would not apply if the condition in section 2(2)(b) were satisfied,

the public authority need not comply with section 1(1)(a) or (b) until such time as is reasonable in the circumstances; but this subsection does not affect the time by which any notice under section 17(1) must be given.

(4)The [F31Minister for the Cabinet Office] may by regulations provide that subsections (1) and (2) are to have effect as if any reference to the twentieth working day following the date of receipt were a reference to such other day, not later than the sixtieth working day following the date of receipt, as may be specified in, or determined in accordance with, the regulations.

(5)Regulations under subsection (4) may—

(a)prescribe different days in relation to different cases, and

(b)confer a discretion on the Commissioner.

(6)In this section—

  • the date of receipt” means—

    (a)

    the day on which the public authority receives the request for information, or

    (b)

    if later, the day on which it receives the information referred to in section 1(3);

  • working day” means any day other than a Saturday, a Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday or a day which is a bank holiday under the M1Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 in any part of the United Kingdom.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I2S. 10 wholly in force at 1.1.2005; s. 10 in force at Royal Assent to the extent that it confers power to make regulations, see s. 87(1)(m)(3); s. 10 otherwise in force at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/3122, art. 2

Marginal Citations

11 Means by which communication to be made.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where, on making his request for information, the applicant expresses a preference for communication by any one or more of the following means, namely—

(a)the provision to the applicant of a copy of the information in permanent form or in another form acceptable to the applicant,

(b)the provision to the applicant of a reasonable opportunity to inspect a record containing the information, and

(c)the provision to the applicant of a digest or summary of the information in permanent form or in another form acceptable to the applicant,

the public authority shall so far as reasonably practicable give effect to that preference.

[F32(1A)Where—

(a)an applicant makes a request for information to a public authority in respect of information that is, or forms part of, a dataset held by the public authority, and

(b)on making the request for information, the applicant expresses a preference for communication by means of the provision to the applicant of a copy of the information in electronic form,

the public authority must, so far as reasonably practicable, provide the information to the applicant in an electronic form which is capable of re-use.]

(2)In determining for the purposes of this section whether it is reasonably practicable to communicate information by particular means, the public authority may have regard to all the circumstances, including the cost of doing so.

(3)Where the public authority determines that it is not reasonably practicable to comply with any preference expressed by the applicant in making his request, the authority shall notify the applicant of the reasons for its determination.

(4)Subject to [F33subsections (1) and (1A)], a public authority may comply with a request by communicating information by any means which are reasonable in the circumstances.

[F34(5)In this Act “dataset” means information comprising a collection of information held in electronic form where all or most of the information in the collection—

(a)has been obtained or recorded for the purpose of providing a public authority with information in connection with the provision of a service by the authority or the carrying out of any other function of the authority,

(b)is factual information which—

(i)is not the product of analysis or interpretation other than calculation, and

(ii)is not an official statistic (within the meaning given by section 6(1) of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007), and

(c)remains presented in a way that (except for the purpose of forming part of the collection) has not been organised, adapted or otherwise materially altered since it was obtained or recorded.]

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Amendments (Textual)

[F3511ARelease of datasets for re-useE+W+S+N.I.

(1)This section applies where—

(a)a person makes a request for information to a public authority in respect of information that is, or forms part of, a dataset held by the authority,

(b)any of the dataset or part of a dataset so requested is a relevant copyright work,

(c)the public authority is the only owner of the relevant copyright work, and

(d)the public authority is communicating the relevant copyright work to the applicant in accordance with this Act.

[F36(1A)But if the whole of the relevant copyright work is a document to which the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 apply, this section does not apply to the relevant copyright work.

(1B)If part of the relevant copyright work is a document to which those Regulations apply—

(a)this section does not apply to that part, but

(b)this section does apply to the part to which the Regulations do not apply (and references in the following provisions of this section to the relevant copyright work are to be read as references to that part).]

(2)When communicating the relevant copyright work to the applicant, the public authority must make the relevant copyright work available for re-use by the applicant in accordance with the terms of the specified licence.

(3)The public authority may exercise any power that it has by virtue of regulations under section 11B to charge a fee in connection with making the relevant copyright work available for re-use in accordance with subsection (2).

(4)Nothing in this section or section 11B prevents a public authority which is subject to a duty under subsection (2) from exercising any power that it has by or under an enactment other than this Act to charge a fee in connection with making the relevant copyright work available for re-use.

(5) Where a public authority intends to charge a fee (whether in accordance with regulations under section 11B or as mentioned in subsection (4)) in connection with making a relevant copyright work available for re-use by an applicant, the authority must give the applicant a notice in writing (in this section referred to as a “ re-use fee notice ”) stating that a fee of an amount specified in, or determined in accordance with, the notice is to be charged by the authority in connection with complying with subsection (2).

(6)Where a re-use fee notice has been given to the applicant, the public authority is not obliged to comply with subsection (2) while any part of the fee which is required to be paid is unpaid.

(7)Where a public authority intends to charge a fee as mentioned in subsection (4), the re-use fee notice may be combined with any other notice which is to be given under the power which enables the fee to be charged.

(8)In this section—

  • copyright owner” has the meaning given by Part 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (see section 173 of that Act);

  • copyright work” has the meaning given by Part 1 of the Act of 1988 (see section 1(2) of that Act);

  • database” has the meaning given by section 3A of the Act of 1988;

  • database right” has the same meaning as in Part 3 of the Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997 (S.I. 1997/3032);

  • owner”, in relation to a relevant copyright work, means—

    (a)

    the copyright owner, or

    (b)

    the owner of the database right in the database;

  • relevant copyright work” means—

    (a)

    a copyright work, or

    (b)

    a database subject to a database right,

    but excludes a relevant Crown work or a relevant Parliamentary work;

  • relevant Crown work” means—

    (a)

    a copyright work in relation to which the Crown is the copyright owner, or

    (b)

    a database in relation to which the Crown is the owner of the database right;

  • relevant Parliamentary work” means—

    (a)

    a copyright work in relation to which the House of Commons or the House of Lords is the copyright owner, or

    (b)

    a database in relation to which the House of Commons or the House of Lords is the owner of the database right;

  • “the specified licence” is the licence specified by the [F37Minister for the Cabinet Office] in a code of practice issued under section 45, and the [F37Minister for the Cabinet Office] may specify different licences for different purposes.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F35Ss. 11A, 11B inserted (31.7.2013 for the insertion of s. 11B, 1.9.2013 in so far as not already in force) by Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (c. 9), ss. 102(3), 120 (with s. 97); S.I. 2013/1906, arts. 2, 3(a)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

11BPower to charge fees in relation to release of datasets for re-useE+W+S+N.I.

( 1 )The [F38Minister for the Cabinet Office] may, with the consent of the Treasury, make provision by regulations about the charging of fees by public authorities in connection with making relevant copyright works available for re-use under section 11A(2) or by virtue of section 19(2A)(c).

(2)Regulations under this section may, in particular—

(a)prescribe cases in which fees may, or may not, be charged,

(b)prescribe the amount of any fee payable or provide for any such amount to be determined in such manner as may be prescribed,

(c)prescribe, or otherwise provide for, times at which fees, or parts of fees, are payable,

(d)require the provision of information about the manner in which amounts of fees are determined,

(e)make different provision for different purposes.

(3)Regulations under this section may, in prescribing the amount of any fee payable or providing for any such amount to be determined in such manner as may be prescribed, provide for a reasonable return on investment.

(4) In this section “ relevant copyright work ” has the meaning given by section 11A(8). ]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F35Ss. 11A, 11B inserted (31.7.2013 for the insertion of s. 11B, 1.9.2013 in so far as not already in force) by Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (c. 9), ss. 102(3), 120 (with s. 97); S.I. 2013/1906, arts. 2, 3(a)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

12Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.

(2)Subsection (1) does not exempt the public authority from its obligation to comply with paragraph (a) of section 1(1) unless the estimated cost of complying with that paragraph alone would exceed the appropriate limit.

(3)In subsections (1) and (2) “the appropriate limit” means such amount as may be prescribed, and different amounts may be prescribed in relation to different cases.

(4)The [F39Minister for the Cabinet Office] may by regulations provide that, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, where two or more requests for information are made to a public authority—

(a)by one person, or

(b)by different persons who appear to the public authority to be acting in concert or in pursuance of a campaign,

the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to be the estimated total cost of complying with all of them.

(5)The [F40Minister for the Cabinet Office] may by regulations make provision for the purposes of this section as to the costs to be estimated and as to the manner in which they are to be estimated.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I3S. 12 wholly in force at 1.1.2005; s. 12 in force at Royal Assent to the extent that it confers power to make regulations, see s. 87(1)(m)(3); s. 12 otherwise in force at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/3122, art. 2

13Fees for disclosure where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A public authority may charge for the communication of any information whose communication—

(a)is not required by section 1(1) because the cost of complying with the request for information exceeds the amount which is the appropriate limit for the purposes of section 12(1) and (2), and

(b)is not otherwise required by law,

such fee as may be determined by the public authority in accordance with regulations made by the [F41Minister for the Cabinet Office].

(2)Regulations under this section may, in particular, provide—

(a)that any fee is not to exceed such maximum as may be specified in, or determined in accordance with, the regulations, and

(b)that any fee is to be calculated in such manner as may be prescribed by the regulations.

(3)Subsection (1) does not apply where provision is made by or under any enactment as to the fee that may be charged by the public authority for the disclosure of the information.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I4S. 13 wholly in force at 1.1.2005; s. 13 in force at Royal Assent to the extent that it confers power to make regulations, see s. 87(1)(m)(3); s. 13 otherwise in force at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/3122, art. 2

14 Vexatious or repeated requests.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the request is vexatious.

(2)Where a public authority has previously complied with a request for information which was made by any person, it is not obliged to comply with a subsequent identical or substantially similar request from that person unless a reasonable interval has elapsed between compliance with the previous request and the making of the current request.

15 Special provisions relating to public records transferred to Public Record Office, etc.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where—

(a)the appropriate records authority receives a request for information which relates to information which is, or if it existed would be, contained in a transferred public record, and

(b)either of the conditions in subsection (2) is satisfied in relation to any of that information,

that authority shall, within the period for complying with section 1(1), send a copy of the request to the responsible authority.

(2)The conditions referred to in subsection (1)(b) are—

(a)that the duty to confirm or deny is expressed to be excluded only by a provision of Part II not specified in subsection (3) of section 2, and

(b)that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a provision of Part II not specified in that subsection.

(3)On receiving the copy, the responsible authority shall, within such time as is reasonable in all the circumstances, inform the appropriate records authority of the determination required by virtue of subsection (3) or (4) of section 66.

(4)In this Act “transferred public record” means a public record which has been transferred—

(a)to the Public Record Office,

(b)to another place of deposit appointed by the [F42Secretary of State] under the M2Public Records Act 1958, or

(c)to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

(5)In this Act—

  • appropriate records authority”, in relation to a transferred public record, means—

    (a)

    in a case falling within subsection (4)(a), the Public Record Office,

    (b)

    in a case falling within subsection (4)(b), the [F43Secretary of State], and

    (c)

    in a case falling within subsection (4)(c), the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland;

  • responsible authority”, in relation to a transferred public record, means—

    (a)

    in the case of a record transferred as mentioned in subsection (4)(a) or (b) from a government department in the charge of a Minister of the Crown, the Minister of the Crown who appears to the [F43Secretary of State] to be primarily concerned,

    (b)

    in the case of a record transferred as mentioned in subsection (4)(a) or (b) from any other person, the person who appears to the [F43Secretary of State] to be primarily concerned,

    (c)

    in the case of a record transferred to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland from a government department in the charge of a Minister of the Crown, the Minister of the Crown who appears to the appropriate Northern Ireland Minister to be primarily concerned,

    (d)

    in the case of a record transferred to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland from a Northern Ireland department, the Northern Ireland Minister who appears to the appropriate Northern Ireland Minister to be primarily concerned, or

    (e)

    in the case of a record transferred to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland from any other person, the person who appears to the appropriate Northern Ireland Minister to be primarily concerned.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Commencement Information

I5S. 15 wholly in force at 1.1.2005; s. 15 not in force at Royal Assent, see s. 87(3); s. 15(4)(5) in force for certain purposes at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/1909, art. 2; s. 15 otherwise in force at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/3122, art. 2

Marginal Citations

16 Duty to provide advice and assistance.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)It shall be the duty of a public authority to provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information to it.

(2)Any public authority which, in relation to the provision of advice or assistance in any case, conforms with the code of practice under section 45 is to be taken to comply with the duty imposed by subsection (1) in relation to that case.

Refusal of requestE+W+S+N.I.

17 Refusal of request.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision of Part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which—

(a)states that fact,

(b)specifies the exemption in question, and

(c)states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

(2)Where—

(a)in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as respects any information, relying on a claim—

(i)that any provision of Part II which relates to the duty to confirm or deny and is not specified in section 2(3) is relevant to the request, or

(ii)that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a provision not specified in section 2(3), and

(b)at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section 66(3) or (4), the responsible authority) has not yet reached a decision as to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2,

the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the application of that provision has yet been reached and must contain an estimate of the date by which the authority expects that such a decision will have been reached.

(3)A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is to any extent relying on a claim that subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2 applies must, either in the notice under subsection (1) or in a separate notice given within such time as is reasonable in the circumstances, state the reasons for claiming—

(a)that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny outweighs the public interest in disclosing whether the authority holds the information, or

(b)that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

(4)A public authority is not obliged to make a statement under subsection (1)(c) or (3) if, or to the extent that, the statement would involve the disclosure of information which would itself be exempt information.

(5)A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is relying on a claim that section 12 or 14 applies must, within the time for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice stating that fact.

(6)Subsection (5) does not apply where—

(a)the public authority is relying on a claim that section 14 applies,

(b)the authority has given the applicant a notice, in relation to a previous request for information, stating that it is relying on such a claim, and

(c)it would in all the circumstances be unreasonable to expect the authority to serve a further notice under subsection (5) in relation to the current request.

(7)A notice under subsection (1), (3) or (5) must—

(a)contain particulars of any procedure provided by the public authority for dealing with complaints about the handling of requests for information or state that the authority does not provide such a procedure, and

(b)contain particulars of the right conferred by section 50.

F44 The Information Commissioner . . . E+W+S+N.I.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F44Words in cross-heading preceding s. 18 omitted (18.1.2010) by virtue of The Transfer of Tribunal Functions Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/22), arts. 1(1), 5(1), Sch. 2 para. 67

18The Information Commissioner F45. . .E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The Data Protection Commissioner shall be known instead as the Information Commissioner.

F46(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)In this Act—

(a)the Information Commissioner is referred to as “the Commissioner”, F47. . .

F47(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)Schedule 2 (which makes provision consequential on subsections (1) and (2) and amendments of the M3Data Protection Act 1998 relating to the extension by this Act of the functions of the Commissioner and the Tribunal) has effect.

F48(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F48(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F48(7). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F47S. 18(3)(b) and preceding word omitted (18.1.2010) by virtue of The Transfer of Tribunal Functions Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/22), arts. 1(1), 5(1), Sch. 2 para. 68(c)

Commencement Information

I6S. 18 wholly in force at 1.1.2005; s. 18(4) in force for certain purposes at Royal Assent, see s. 87(1)(i); s. 18(1) wholly in force and s. 18(4) in force for certain further purposes at 30.1.2001, see s. 87(2)(a)(c); s. 18(2)(3)(5)-(7) in force and s. 18(4) in force for certain further purposes at 14.5.2001 by S.I. 2001/1637, art. 2(a)(b); s. 18 otherwise in force at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/3122, art. 2

Marginal Citations

Publication schemesE+W+S+N.I.

19 Publication schemes.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)It shall be the duty of every public authority—

(a)to adopt and maintain a scheme which relates to the publication of information by the authority and is approved by the Commissioner (in this Act referred to as a “publication scheme”),

(b)to publish information in accordance with its publication scheme, and

(c)from time to time to review its publication scheme.

(2)A publication scheme must—

(a)specify classes of information which the public authority publishes or intends to publish,

(b)specify the manner in which information of each class is, or is intended to be, published, and

(c)specify whether the material is, or is intended to be, available to the public free of charge or on payment.

[F49(2A)A publication scheme must, in particular, include a requirement for the public authority concerned—

(a)to publish—

(i)any dataset held by the authority in relation to which a person makes a request for information to the authority, and

(ii)any up-dated version held by the authority of such a dataset,

unless the authority is satisfied that it is not appropriate for the dataset to be published,

(b)where reasonably practicable, to publish any dataset the authority publishes by virtue of paragraph (a) in an electronic form which is capable of re-use,

(c)where [F50subject to subsections (2AA) and (2AB)] any information in a dataset published by virtue of paragraph (a) is a relevant copyright work in relation to which the authority is the only owner, to make the information available for re-use in accordance with the terms of the specified licence.

[F51(2AA)If the whole of the relevant copyright work is a document to which the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 apply, subsections (2A)(c) and (2B) to (2F) do not apply to the relevant copyright work.

(2AB)If part of the relevant copyright work is a document to which those Regulations apply—

(a)subsections (2A)(c) and (2B) to (2F) do not apply to that part, but

(b)those provisions do apply to the part to which the Regulations do not apply (and references in the following provisions of this section to the relevant copyright work are to be read as references to that part).]

(2B)The public authority may exercise any power that it has by virtue of regulations under section 11B to charge a fee in connection with making the relevant copyright work available for re-use in accordance with a requirement imposed by virtue of subsection (2A)(c).

(2C)Nothing in this section or section 11B prevents a public authority which is subject to such a requirement from exercising any power that it has by or under an enactment other than this Act to charge a fee in connection with making the relevant copyright work available for re-use.

(2D) Where a public authority intends to charge a fee (whether in accordance with regulations under section 11B or as mentioned in subsection (2C)) in connection with making a relevant copyright work available for re-use by an applicant, the authority must give the applicant a notice in writing (in this section referred to as a “ re-use fee notice ”) stating that a fee of an amount specified in, or determined in accordance with, the notice is to be charged by the authority in connection with complying with the requirement imposed by virtue of subsection (2A)(c).

(2E)Where a re-use fee notice has been given to the applicant, the public authority is not obliged to comply with the requirement imposed by virtue of subsection (2A)(c) while any part of the fee which is required to be paid is unpaid.

(2F)Where a public authority intends to charge a fee as mentioned in subsection (2C), the re-use fee notice may be combined with any other notice which is to be given under the power which enables the fee to be charged.]

(3)In adopting or reviewing a publication scheme, a public authority shall have regard to the public interest—

(a)in allowing public access to information held by the authority, and

(b)in the publication of reasons for decisions made by the authority.

(4)A public authority shall publish its publication scheme in such manner as it thinks fit.

(5)The Commissioner may, when approving a scheme, provide that his approval is to expire at the end of a specified period.

(6)Where the Commissioner has approved the publication scheme of any public authority, he may at any time give notice to the public authority revoking his approval of the scheme as from the end of the period of six months beginning with the day on which the notice is given.

(7)Where the Commissioner—

(a)refuses to approve a proposed publication scheme, or

(b)revokes his approval of a publication scheme,

he must give the public authority a statement of his reasons for doing so.

[F52(8)In this section—

  • copyright owner ” has the meaning given by Part 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (see section 173 of that Act);

  • copyright work ” has the meaning given by Part 1 of the Act of 1988 (see section 1(2) of that Act);

  • database ” has the meaning given by section 3A of the Act of 1988;

  • database right ” has the same meaning as in Part 3 of the Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997 ( S.I. 1997/3032);

  • owner ”, in relation to a relevant copyright work, means—

    (a)

    the copyright owner, or

    (b)

    the owner of the database right in the database;

  • relevant copyright work ” means—

    (a)

    a copyright work, or

    (b)

    a database subject to a database right,

    but excludes a relevant Crown work or a relevant Parliamentary work;

  • relevant Crown work ” means—

    (a)

    a copyright work in relation to which the Crown is the copyright owner, or

    (b)

    a database in relation to which the Crown is the owner of the database right;

  • relevant Parliamentary work ” means—

    (a)

    a copyright work in relation to which the House of Commons or the House of Lords is the copyright owner, or

    (b)

    a database in relation to which the House of Commons or the House of Lords is the owner of the database right;

  • the specified licence ” has the meaning given by section 11A(8). ]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Commencement Information

I7S. 19 wholly in force at 1.1.2005; s. 19 in force for certain purposes at Royal Assent, see s. 87(1)(b)(3); s. 19(5)-(7) in force at 30.11.2002 and s. 19(1)-(4) in force for certain purposes at 28.2.2003 and 30.6.2003 by S.I. 2002/2812, arts. 3, 4, 5 (as amended (1.4.2006) by S.I. 2005/3239, art. 9(2), Sch. 2 para. 8, S.I. 2006/63, art. 3(2)(b) and S.I. 2006/64, art. 3(2)(b)); s. 19(1)-(4) in force for certain further purposes at 31.10.2003, 29.2.2004 and 30.6.2004 by S.I. 2003/2603, arts. 2, 3, 4; s. 19 in force in so far as not already in force at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/3122, art. 2

20 Model publication schemes.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The Commissioner may from time to time approve, in relation to public authorities falling within particular classes, model publication schemes prepared by him or by other persons.

(2)Where a public authority falling within the class to which an approved model scheme relates adopts such a scheme without modification, no further approval of the Commissioner is required so long as the model scheme remains approved; and where such an authority adopts such a scheme with modifications, the approval of the Commissioner is required only in relation to the modifications.

(3)The Commissioner may, when approving a model publication scheme, provide that his approval is to expire at the end of a specified period.

(4)Where the Commissioner has approved a model publication scheme, he may at any time publish, in such manner as he thinks fit, a notice revoking his approval of the scheme as from the end of the period of six months beginning with the day on which the notice is published.

(5)Where the Commissioner refuses to approve a proposed model publication scheme on the application of any person, he must give the person who applied for approval of the scheme a statement of the reasons for his refusal.

(6)Where the Commissioner refuses to approve any modifications under subsection (2), he must give the public authority a statement of the reasons for his refusal.

(7)Where the Commissioner revokes his approval of a model publication scheme, he must include in the notice under subsection (4) a statement of his reasons for doing so.

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Commencement Information

I8S. 20 wholly in force at 1.1.2005; s. 20 in force for certain purposes at Royal Assent, see s. 87(1)(c)(3); s. 20 otherwise in force at 1.1.2005 by S.I. 2004/3122, art. 2

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