The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires the college, along with all other public authorities, to advise the public of its commitment to make available the information detailed in its chosen publication scheme.
THE COLLEGE’S COMMITMENT
The college is committed to making information available to you. The college is working hard to make information accessible and aims to avoid withholding information from the public without good reason. A great deal of information is available publicly through our website, through our offices and through our Learning Resource Centres.
The Publication Scheme and its Aims
The general aims of the scheme are:
- To make more information available to the public
- To inform the public of the types of information held by and available from the college
- To provide appropriate contact details for obtaining specific categories of information
MAKING A REQUEST
Any written request received by the college will be responded to within 20 working days. Where possible, we will provide the information in the manner you request, or in some cases allow you to view the information.
A permanent record of all requests received and their processing is maintained within the Principal’s Secretariat. All requests received are managed through that office.
1. LEGAL REQUIREMENT
1.1 Adopting a publication scheme is a requirement of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This Act promotes greater openness and accountability across the public sector by requiring all ‘public authorities’ to make information available proactively, through a publication scheme.
1.2 ‘Public authorities’ are defined in the Act and include universities, further education colleges and sixth form colleges.
2. WHAT IS A PUBLICATION SCHEME?
2.1 A publication scheme is a guide to the information routinely published by a public authority, or which it is intended to publish. These descriptions are called ‘classes of information’. The scheme is not a list of the actual publications, because this will change as new material is published or existing material revised. It is, however, a public authority’s commitment to make available the information described.
2.2 The publication scheme must set out the classes, or categories, of information published. It must also make clear how the information described can be accessed and whether or not charges will be made.
3. THE ‘MODEL’ PUBLICATION SCHEME FOR FURTHER EDUCATION
3.1 The Isle of Wight College will adopt the new model publication scheme (2009) developed for all public authorities from 1 January 2009 and the college is committed to publishing the information it describes.
3.2 This model is designed for further education colleges across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The purpose of the model is to save institutions duplicating effort in producing individual schemes and to assist the public in accessing information from across the sector. However, to reflect the diversity in size and function of institution, a number of optional classes of information are included. As a result, models within the sector will vary slightly. Any optional classes relevant to us have been included in our scheme.
4 WHO WE ARE
4.1 The Isle of Wight College is the major provider of post-16 education on the Isle of Wight.
5. ACCESSING INFORMATION COVERED BY THE PUBLICATION SCHEME
5.1 The college’s publication scheme is available on the college’s website www.iwcollege.ac.uk and from Reception, upon request.
5.2 The classes of information we publish are described in the second part of the scheme.
5.3 Next to each class we have indicated the manner in which the information described will be available. Please read 7 below regarding the college’s charging policy.
5.4 To request information available through our publication scheme, please contact:Assistant Principal (Resources)
The Isle of Wight College
Isle of Wight
PO30 5TA 01983 526631
5.5 Written Freedom of Information requests are recorded by the Principal’s Secretariat on the FOI Request Register and are forwarded to the Information Officer. A written acknowledgement will be sent to the requester within 5 working days. A response will then be prepared by the Information Officer and returned to the requester within the statutory 20 working day period.
5.6 Many of the routinely published documents are available for free download on the college’s website or we will provide printed copies of the documents within 5 working days.
5.7 If we have indicated that some information is available to ‘View in college by appointment only’, you will need to contact the college’s Information Officer (details as above). You will then be contacted within 5 working days to invite you into college at a mutually convenient time to view the information.
5.8 Please note that a publication scheme relates to ‘published’ information. If the information you require is not available in a single document already produced in College as a matter of routine, we will do our best to direct you to a number of other documents that may provide the information you are requesting.
5.9 Requests for information that is not routinely available will have to be made in writing and, in general, public authorities will have 20 working days to respond.
6. WHAT ABOUT INFORMATION NOT COVERED BY THE PUBLICATION SCHEME?
6.1 From 1 January 2005 you have the right, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, to request any information held by a public authority which it has not already made available through its publication scheme.
6.2 The college will not be required to release information if any of the information requested falls under one of the 23 exemptions. However, it may be that the exemption covers only part of one specific document, and in this case we will release the information which is not exempt and explain to the applicant why it is not releasing exempt information.
7.1 Freedom of Information requests for information that is routinely available will be free of charge as it is envisaged that the cost in providing the information will be less than £450 as set down by the Lord Chancellor. If it becomes evident that the cost of retrieving information is likely to be above £450, the college will discuss charges with the individual requester prior to releasing the information.
8.1 It is important that this publication scheme meets your needs. If you find the scheme difficult to understand, please let us know. We also welcome suggestions as to how our scheme might be improved. Any questions, comments or complaints about this scheme should be sent in the first instance in writing to:Assistant Principal (Resources)
The Isle of Wight College
Isle of Wight
8.2 If we are unable to resolve your complaint informally, please write to the Principal at the above address.
8.3 If we are still unable to resolve any complaint, you can complain to the Information Commissioner, the independent body who oversees the Freedom of Information Act:Information Commissioner
9. FURTHER INFORMATION