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Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 allows public access to information held by all UK public bodies. This includes the University of Bradford.

Information is accessible in two ways:

  • Some information is available via a Publication Scheme. This is a list of types of information the University makes available.
  • Individuals have the right to request information which is not already made available.

Requests may be subject to exemptions.

The University follows the Freedom of Information Act and has a Freedom of Information Policy.

Similarly to the Freedom of Information Act, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) provides the right to access environmental information.

Requesting information

Requests for information should be in writing to the University’s Legal and Governance Office. The team respond to requests for  information and maintain the University’s Publication Scheme. Requests should specify all the information you need and include your name and address.

The information you request should not already be online or available via the Publication Scheme.

If you need advice on how to express your needs, please email or phone 01274 238596.

Your can make your request by emailing

Or by post:

Legal and Governance Office
D16 Richmond Building
University of Bradford
Richmond Road

Processing your request

When we recieve your request, we will try to locate this information. We may be in touch to ask you to provide more detail.

We do not issue acknowledgements in response to requests. If you would like us to acknowledge your request, please make this clear in your request.

The University has twenty working days to respond to your request. A  working day is any day, Monday - Friday which is not a bank holiday in any part of the UK. This twenty day period begins when we have all the  information we need to process your request. This does not include any period when we have to ask you for more information.

There are a number of circumstances where the University will not process a request for information. These are listed below. If we refuse to provide information we will normally issue you with a letter called a refusal notice which explains why we are not providing you with the information you have requested and what you can do about it.

Reasons why we may not process a request

An address can include an email address. If we believe that the name and address provided are not real we may ask you to prove that it is. If we do not hear back from you or if we receive notification that the name or address do not exist we will not process your request.

If your request does not have an adequate description, we will ask you for more information. If we do not hear back from you we will not process your request.

If you need advice on how to express your needs, please email or phone 01274 233021 or 01274 233358.

The University can refuse requests where the estimate time to process the request is longer than 18 hours. This is referred to in the Act as an 'appropriate limit'.

The estimate of time includes:

  • Do we hold the information?
  • Where can we locate the information?
  • How can we retrieve and extract the information?

The Act contains a number of very specific exemptions that are listed below.

With the exception of those listed in italics each exemption is subject to a public interest test. This means that the University must consider all the factors relating to the request and the information and we can only withhold the information if the public interest in withholding the information is greater than that of releasing it.

Most exemptions do not apply to information held by the University but all exemptions in the Act are listed here:

List of Exemptions
The following classes of information are exempt:

  • information already reasonably accessible
  • information intended for future publication
  • research information
  • information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with security matters
  • criminal investigations and proceedings conducted by the authority
  • information relating to civil or criminal investigations and proceedings which use confidential sources
  • court records
  • information relating to the formulation of government policy
  • communications with Royal Family and Royal Household and the granting of Honours
  • environmental information (NB even though this information is exempt under the Freedom of information Act 2000, it is accessible by the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and so any request would be progressed under those regulations)
  • personal information where the applicant is data subject
  • trade secrets
  • information prohibited from disclosure under other laws

Information is also exempt if its disclosure would be or would be likely to be prejudice to following:

  • national security
  • defence
  • international relations
  • relations within the UK
  • the economy
  • investigations
  • law enforcement
  • audit functions
  • parliamentary privilege
  • effective conductive of public affairs
  • health and safety
  • the privacy of third parties
  • confidentiality
  • legal professional privilege
  • commercial interests

The University may charge a fee to process your request. If you do not pay this fee, we will not process the request. For more information please refer to the University’s Freedom of Information Fees Statement.

We may refuse identical or substantially similar requests that have been made before. We can also refuse requests for the following behaviours:

  • Abusive or aggressive language
  • Burden on the authority
  • Personal grudges
  • Unreasonable persistence
  • Unfounded accusations
  • Intransigence
  • Frequent or overlapping requests
  • Deliberate intention to cause annoyance
  • Scattergun approach
  • Disproportionate effort
  • No obvious intent to obtain information
  • Futile requests
  • Frivolous requests