Guidance for the re-use of public sector information

About the reuse of public sector information

The Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (ROPSI) allows people to apply to re-use information held by the council.

These regulations:

  • require public sector bodies, such as the council, to allow the re-use of existing and generally accessible information they create, collect or hold. In most cases the granting of re-use is mandatory.
  • introduce the general principle that charges for re-use should normally be set at marginal cost, with exceptions in certain circumstances
  • require standard licensing with licences being as non-restrictive as possible
  • provide redress arrangements with the Information Commissioner who can issue binding decisions and the ability to appeal further to a first tier tribunal

Re-use means using the information for a purpose other than the purpose for which the document was originally produced.

Examples of public sector information are local legislation, statistics, local planning, and guidance on local community issues and policies.

To comply with ROPSI legislation we will:

  • respond to all ROPSI requests within 20 working days - this period may be extended where it is reasonable to do so
  • offer appropriate advice and guidance, where necessary
  • grant licences for re-use of public sector information where applicable
  • levy fees where there is reasonable justification to cover the costs of producing and supplying the data

The focus of Freedom of Information is on access to information, whereas the ROPSI Regulations regulate its re-use.

Likewise, the regulations do not provide access to the information itself. That is available through other access to information routes such as the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 or the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Receiving information under Freedom of Information does not give you an automatic right to re-use the information and you must make a distinct request for its re-use.

Further guidance on the ROPSI Regulations is available on the National Archives website.