All staff

All staff have a responsibility to comply with freedom of information and subject access request requirements.

Whatever your role at the University of Edinburgh, freedom of information and subject access requests under data protection law affect you and how you do your job.

For example:

  • you may handle information that is requested, or
  • you may receive a request.

Freedom of information five key points

Freedom of information legislation gives anyone the right to ask for recorded information held by the University of Edinburgh. This information can be in any format, including paper and electronic documents, spreadsheets, emails, messages, photos and videos. The legislation also requires the University to manage its records in line with good records management practice. If you receive a non-routine enquiry (for information that you would not normally provide), treat it as a freedom of information request. Even if the enquiry doesn’t mention freedom of information explicitly, the University is obliged to respond within 20 working days. If you have any queries, consult your local information practitioner or Information Compliance Services as soon as possible.

To help ensure the University of Edinburgh stays inside the law, be sure to:

1. answer any request for information within 20 working days

2. avoid complications by following procedures and providing any easily released information that relates to your area of work 

Request handling procedures

3. contact your local information practitioner if you are unsure about any aspect of the request, for instance if it does not relate to your area of work, or if you believe there are grounds to refuse the request 

Information practitioners

4. always take a clear and professional approach when creating documents. Remember, all work documents, including emails and Teams messages, may need to be disclosed

5. make your information accessible to other staff in your team, so they can answer any requests for information in your absence.