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The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations implement Directive 2003/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the re-use of public sector information (the Directive)(O.J. No. L 345, 31.12.2003, p.90).

Regulations 2, 3 and 4 contain definitions of expressions in these Regulations, including a definition of “public sector body” in regulation 3 and “re-use” in regulation 4.

Regulation 5 provides that these Regulations do not apply to certain documents.

Regulation 6 provides for the form that a request for re-use must take.

Regulation 7 provides that a public sector body has a discretion as to whether to permit re-use of a document in response to a request. Where a public sector body permits re-use it must act in accordance with regulations 11 to 16.

Regulation 8 sets out how a public sector body should respond, and the timescales for responding, to a request for re-use.

Regulation 9 provides that where a public sector body refuses a request for re-use it must notify the applicant, give reasons for the refusal and inform the applicant of its internal complaints process and other means of redress.

Regulation 10 provides that, where possible and appropriate, a public sector body must ensure that the processing of requests for re-use can be carried out by electronic means.

Regulation 11 provides for the format and language in which a document may be provided to an applicant.

Regulation 12 allows a public sector body to impose conditions on re-use, but only where those conditions do not unnecessarily restrict the way in which a document can be re-used or restrict competition.

Regulation 13 requires that a public sector body must not impose discriminatory conditions on applicants who request re-use of a document for comparable purposes and that where a public sector body re-uses a document itself for an activity outside of its public task it must apply the same conditions to itself as to any other applicant for re-use for a comparable purpose.

Regulation 14 prohibits a public sector body entering into an exclusive arrangement for re-use except where it is necessary for the provision of a service in the public interest. Regulation 14 also makes transitional provisions to cover exclusive arrangements in existence on the coming into force of the Regulations.

Regulation 15 sets out the basis on which a public sector body may charge an applicant for allowing re-use.

Regulation 16 provides that a public sector body must publish information on conditions for re-use, standard charges, main documents available for re-use and means of redress; and, so far as possible, all such information should be made available, and in the case of the list of available documents, searchable, by electronic means.

Regulation 17 requires a public sector body to establish an internal complaints procedure to determine complaints arising under these Regulations.

Regulation 18 sets out the arrangements for the referral by a person of a complaint made under regulation 17 to the Office of Public Sector Information where he has exhausted the public sector body’s complaints procedure or where the public sector body has failed to deal with the complaint within a reasonable time. Where the public sector body in question is the Office of Public Sector Information, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office or the Office of the Queen’s Printer for Scotland, the person may refer this complaint directly to the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information.

Regulation 19 requires the Office of Public Sector Information to publish its procedures for considering complaints referred to it under regulation 18 and the arrangements for notifying the person and the relevant public sector body in writing of any recommendation it makes.

Regulation 20 provides for the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information to review any recommendation made by the Office of Public Sector Information under regulation 19. Regulation 20 also provides for the form that a request for review must take.

Regulation 21 requires the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information to publish its procedures for considering complaints referred to it under regulation 18 and for conducting reviews under regulation 20 and the arrangements for notifying the person, the relevant public sector body and the Office of Public Sector Information of any recommendation it makes.

A full regulatory impact assessment has been prepared for these Regulations together with a transposition note setting out how the main elements of the Directive are transposed into UK law. Copies of these have been made available to Parliament and are annexed to the Explanatory Memorandum, laid before Parliament alongside this instrument. Copies are also available on request from the Office of Public Sector Information, Admiralty Arch, North Side, The Mall, London SW1A 2WH.

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