What to do when you receive an FoI request

If you are a member of staff and you receive a Freedom of Information request.

Firstly, check that the request satisfies the criteria:

  1. The request is in writing
  2. The name and address of the applicant is supplied.
  3. It states the required information

Please note that enquirers need not quote (or even be aware of) their rights under the Act to make a request for information.

If the request does not satisfy these requirements then we are not obliged to process it. However, for good practice the University has established the following guidelines to ensure that the our service is helpful and accessible to the applicant.

  • Verbal enquiries do not have the force of the law. However if you do receive such an enquiry you should advise the enquirer how to make the request official, and send them the University Request Form to assist them in making the request.
  • If a request is not clear enough for the University to identify the information that is being requested, applicants will be asked to clarify what they are looking for.
  • The University will offer advice and assistance where it is able, but unless applicants provide enough information for the University to ascertain the information being requested, there is no obligation to process the request.

Normal day to day requests

If you receive a legitimate Freedom of Information request, continue to deal with it, if it is a normal day-to-day request that can be dealt with easily.

Complex requests

If you receive a request that is more complex (for example, you are not sure if the information asked for should be released, you feel that the request would take an unreasonable amount of time to process etc) please pass the request to the University Records Manager who will deal with it centrally. His contact details are:

Matthew Stephenson
Head of Information Governance
Governance Services Unit
Crescent House
University of Salford
Salford
M5 4WT
Email: m.stephenson@salford.ac.uk
Tel: Ext 56856

As an employee of the university, you need to be aware of the Act and be prepared to act quickly if you receive a request for information.

The 20 day clock starts ticking as soon as the request is received by any person working for the University so if you are in any doubt over a particular request, please contact the Records Management Team immediately.

Please Note:

To ensure that the University complies and that we have a uniform approach, nobody should refuse to provide information without consulting the Head of Information Governance.