Freedom of Information

To make a request please contact us at foi@aru.ac.uk

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) provides the public with two rights regarding information held by public bodies (such as Anglia Ruskin University).

  • We must confirm or deny whether requested information is held by us, or by someone acting on our behalf (unless the law allows us not to) and
  • If we do hold it, we must provide a copy of it, (unless there are legal grounds to refuse or exempt – please see below)

The aim of the Act is to provide transparency over decision making and value for money of public bodies. It tries to balance the need to be transparent and informing public interest debate and protecting certain information which may be unfairly harmful to the public authority, the public or other parties if released.

  • You can ask for any information you think we may hold, however the rights only cover ‘recorded information’ -  which includes information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.
  • You should identify the information you want as clearly as possible.
  • Your request can be in the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, but we aren’t required to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded.
  • Some information may not be given to you because it is exempt, it may cost too much/ take too long to respond or is a misuse of the rights (see Refusals and Exemptions).

Any person anywhere in the world can request information under the Act and this includes legal entities such as companies. Requests must be in writing (email is accepted), state clearly the information requested and provide a means of responding (an address, email address etc). You must provide your real name when making the request.

The law gives us 20 working to respond from the first working day after the request is received. The law allows us additional ‘reasonable’ time if we believe the information is exempt but the public interest in disclosing it is being considered.

In certain circumstances, even if we believe certain information is exempt from disclosure, we may need to consider whether it is in the public interest to disclose it regardless. This is the Public Interest Test and applies to a number of the exemptions (see Refusals and Exemptions).

The Act does not apply to the private sector, but where private companies work under contract for us, the information they hold about their work for us may be captured by FOI. The Student Union at ARU is not covered by FOI.

Contact us at foi@aru.ac.uk to make a request or for queries over your rights.