Public PublicationOpen publication
Which information do we have to disclose?
In addition to answering information queries, you must be proactive in publishing information. Under the Freedom of Information Act, any public agency must have a publication system authorized by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and must make the information collected by this system public. It must establish your obligation to provide certain types of information such as policy and procedure, meeting transcripts, yearly reporting and finance information on a routine basis.
The ICO has created a publication schema for you. They are available in two different formats; one for most agencies and one for the few agencies that are only able to access some of the information they have. Any information you share according to the publication schedule is the bare essence that you must share.
When a citizen wants information that is not included in the system, he can still ask you for it (see What should we do if we get a request?). The majority of public administrations make their publication system available on their websites under "Freedom of Information", "Guidelines on Information" or "Publication System".
When asked for this information, you should be able to provide it quickly and simply, so you should make your employees attentive to the information that is available through your publication flow. When you are part of the implementation and maintenance of the system, you must review the following information.
Will we have to create our own publication schema? Things to consider when publishing? Which kind of information should we disclose and integrate? Is it possible that we are refusing to disclose information? Where do we need to disclose information instead of responding to inquiries? Will we have to create our own publication schema? No, each agency must have a publication format, but the ICO has now established a standard publication format that all agencies must use.
There are two versions: one for the public administrations, which are only responsible for certain information, and the other for all other publications. All publication schemes prepared before 1 January 2009 are obsolete and should be replaced by the ICOs.
Things to consider when publishing? This is a brief publication schema (e.g. two pages long) in which you demonstrate your dedication to proactive publishing of information. You are required by the sample publication schema to disclose certain categories of information. This also determines how you make the information available, what you can calculate and what you must inform the public about the system.
ICO will notify the agencies if we intend to upgrade the publishing system through our website. What should we do with the standard publication format? They should take over and do not need to tell the ICO that they have done so. It is suitable for all public administrations, so you should not modify it.
It is also important to ensure that you disclose the information contained therein. They should make public the fact that the information under the system is accessible to the public. Ensure that the modelling schema, information guidelines and scale of charges are all available on your website, on the bulletin boards or in any other way that you normally interact with the public.
Which kind of information should we disclose and add to our information guides? A sample publication schema outlines the seven kinds (classes) of information you should disclose. It is in accordance with one of the basic tenets of the law - that public information should be made available unless there are good reasons to hold it back and the law allows it.
There is no obligation to actively post draft copies, memos, older copies of replaced document, e-mail or other communications. Measures and choices relating to certain persons are also unlikely. However, members of the public who wish to obtain information that is not contained in your information guides may do so.
In order to help you make the decision as to what you should add to your information manual, the ICO has prepared definitions for the various sector. They define what kind of information the ICO would normally require from certain kinds of government agencies. The ICO has prepared templates for information that only needs to be completed for some smaller agencies, such as healthcare professionals, community counselors and schoolchildren.
Please note that you must also keep your publication schema up to date and the information listed therein must remain public. That means you need to set up a mechanism to check what information you are posting; to substitute or refresh information that has been replaced. They should learn about all guidelines for managing your record that promote active release.
You may need to contact the appropriate individual or division if you want to change, modify, update, or substitute information that falls under the publication schema. This law contains special provisions regarding data sets and publication schedules. Unless you are convinced that this is not appropriate, you must provide any record you request and any upgraded versions you own as part of your publication schema.
When the data set falls under the RPSI (Re-use of Public Service Information Regulations), you should licence it for reuse under RPSI. Failing this, for example because you are not a public entity under RPSI, you should address the issue of licences under the law's datasets regulations.
If we don't have all the information covered by the publishing schedule for the models? This law only applies to information you possess. Only include in your information leader the information you own and need to public. Is it possible that we are refusing to disclose information? It is recommended that you include all information that belongs in the categories of your information guidebook, unless: it is a design; you have filed it or it is hard to reach; part of the paper is exempted from publication and it would not make sense to disclose the information in an amended (edited) format.
ICO would normally require you to post revised transcripts, but we understand that it is inappropriate to require you to create routine processed copies of other documentation. If you have chosen not to disclose any information, it is useful to state the reason for this choice if you are asked about it later.
Where do we need to make information public instead of just answering inquiries? The public should have routine and secure public interest information. Even without the publication format, citizens may not know what information is available to them.
This publication schema contains information that you can already assign. It should be possible for information to be accessed directly on the Internet or for it to be received immediately and systematically when asked. But if you have a website, this is the simplest way for most users to get the information and workloads out.
We recommend that the information be found on a website if possible. ICO recognizes that some small agencies do not have the technology capabilities to handle sophisticated or periodically upgraded Web sites. If information is not available on-line, you must include the information in your information leader and provide your contacts so information can be requested by others to see it.
This is also the way to provide information to those who do not have direct connection to the web. ICO encourages you to provide the contacts information of job owners who are accountable for certain species or information, as they can readily retrieve this information and respond to queries in the course of their work.
By holding designated jobholders accountable for certain information, you keep the information you are publishing up to date. It does not specify how much you can ask for information that will be made public according to a publication schedule (this is different from the rules for information that will be made public in reply to a query - see What should we do when we get a query?
You must, however, make public a schedule of fees stating when and how much you will be charging. Under the ICO publishing system, any fees are legitimate, predictable and kept to a strict absolute limit. It is not appropriate for us to levy a tax for the provision of information on the Internet; for information that has been commercialised, e.g. a title, a card or a similar publication that you wish to distribute and that you would otherwise not have made.
When you provide a record for reuse in your publication schema and it is RPSI-aware, you can invoice RPSI for permission to reuse. In the absence of this, for example, because you are not a public entity under RPSI, you should consider levying re-use fees in accordance with the law.
There is no re-use charge if data records are made available for re-use under the Open Government Licence.