Home >

Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations

The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 were introduced to encourage the re-use of information held by public bodies and local authorities.

Under the regulations the we have to look at what information we hold and whether it can be re-used. We must hold a list of information assets suitable for re-use, provide licences and charge a fee where appropriate for the information.

Detailed information about the regulations (new window) can be found on the National Archives website.

What is meant by re-use?

Information is available to the public by way of access to information legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). When requesting information, the applicant can also ask to re-use the information if it is released.

Re-use means the reproduction of the same information in a way that it was not originally intended for. This could include copying, adapting, developing or re-using for commercial purposes.

Information released under FOI or EIR can be re-used providing you have our permission to do so. Without permission you may breach copyright law. If we do allow re-use, it must be done in accordance with the regulations.


Information for which we hold the copyright may be released under access to information legislation but this does not automatically mean you have permission to reproduce it.

Information released can be used for private purposes but must not be used for commercial purposes unless you have advised us you wish to re-use it and you have our permission to do so.

We must ensure the conditions for the re-use are clear and in keeping with our copyright so a licence may be issued detailing such conditions.

How do I get permission for re-use?

Requests for information for re-use purposes must be made in writing stating your name and a correspondence address. You must be specific about the information you require and you must state the purpose for which the information is to be re-used. Requests should be sent to:

Head of Legal and Democratic Services
Suffolk Coastal District Council
Melton Hill
Suffolk IP12 1AU

If you have any questions about re-use of information you can contact the Head of Legal and Democratic Services on 01394 444336 or email legal.section@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk.

What happens next?

On receipt of your request for re-use under the regulations, the Council has 20 working days in which to respond, although this timescale can be extended if the request is extensive or complex. The information is collated and decisions will be made regarding the following:

  • If the information can be released.
  • If the information can be re-used.
  • If a licence for the re-use is required.
  • If a charge applies.

We will advise you of the above together with conditions for re-use and any fee that may apply. This must be paid before the information is released. The information will be made available in an electronic form where possible.

Exemptions to re-use

As with FOI & EIR requests, there are some exemptions which restrict re-use of the our information, for example:

  • The information is exempt under access to information legislation (FOI, DPA, EIR).
  • Supplying and re-using the document falls outside it's 'public task'.
  • Part of the information is not owned by the us and the intellectual property rights belong to a third party.

Charging for the re-use of information

The regulations allow us to charge a fee for the re-use of information so that we can make a 'reasonable return on investment'. Charges may include the cost of staff time to collate the information, the cost of it's reproduction and delivery and the commercial value of the Council's intellectual property.

Unlike FOI & EIR, there are no fixed fees limits and charges are determined on a case by case basis. Staff time is calculated at an hourly rate of £25 in keeping with FOI fees regulations however this may be subject to change dependant on the seniority of the member of staff required to process the request.


If you are unhappy with the way in which your request to re-use information has been handled, you can make a complaint through our complaints procedure. If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint you can complain to the Office for Public Sector Information (new window), the Government department that oversees the regulations.