A requirement of the Freedom of Information Act is that the University of Reading, as a public authority, should produce and maintain a publication scheme. This scheme acts as a guide to the information the University routinely makes available to the public. Its purpose is to help the public understand what the University does and how it does it.
From January 2009, there is one approved model scheme, which has to be adopted by all public authorities. This is detailed on the website of the Office of the Information Commissioner as the Definition document for universities and other higher education institutions. In addition, the University has prepared a Guide to Information for the public, which gives details of what information the University will provide under the scheme.
Most of the information is available free of charge and can be downloaded from the University's website by following links in the guide. Where charges apply it will be indicated in the publication scheme. Information that is listed in the scheme but is not available from the website can be requested from the IMPS Office. This request for information will be treated in the same way as a Freedom of Information request and the information will normally be provided free of charge unless the costs involved in retrieving the information exceed the appropriate limit set by the Ministry of Justice, as described in the Information Commissioner's Office Guide to Fees. Charges reflect the time necessary to retrieve the information together with the costs of copying and postage, where appropriate. The appropriate limit in the case of the University is currently £450, which equates to about 2.5 days of staff time. More information on the charges for Freedom of Information requests is given in the section What does it cost?
The guide is divided into seven sections as follows:
- Who we are and what we do
- What we spend and how we spend it
- What our priorities are and how we are doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- Lists and registers
- The services we offer
The university has also prepared a guide to environmental information.
You can also view the publications schemes for companies wholly owned by the University.