ARCHIVE: Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations

The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/1515) came into force on 1 July 2005. These Regulations implement European Union Directive 2003/98/EC on the Re-use of Public Sector Information.

The Regulations establish a framework for making the re-use of public sector information easier and more transparent. They are based on the principles of fairness, transparency, non-discrimination and consistency of application.

The Regulations complement access to information legislation (the Freedom of Information Act, the Environmental Information Regulations and the Data Protection Act) through regulating the re-use of public sector information once it has been made available, either through publishing or in response to a request.

Under the Regulations, public sector information is defined as information produced by central and local government, the health service and Parliament, regardless of whether that information is formally published or not. Much of Defra's published and unpublished information therefore comes under the scope of the Regulations.

The main elements of the Regulations are:

  • there should be a clear statement of copyright ownership on all documents and/or information, together with a statement setting out the arrangements for their re-use;
  • there should be greater transparency of licence terms and charges for re-using information. As Defra's information is subject to Crown copyright, the licensing terms and charges are administered by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). For further information on licensing arrangements and terms, see the guidance featured on the OPSI website;
  • an obligation to produce assets lists of information, published and unpublished, which is available for re-use. Defra's assets list comprises its Publication Scheme and its Information Assets Register;
  • details of complaints procedures to be published;
  • time limits for responding to applications for re-use of information. This is 20 working days, in line with Freedom of Information.

See also guidance on how to make a request to re-use information.

Page published: 1 July 2005