About the Scheme
UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 promotes greater openness and accountability across the public sector by requiring all public authorities to make information available proactively through publication schemes. Public authorities are defined within the Act and include Higher Education Institutions.
2 THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 and is one of the four ancient Scottish universities. It is governed by a series of Acts of Parliament, Universities (Scotland) Acts 1858 -1966. The mission of the University of Aberdeen is to be excellent in delivering learning and teaching, undertaking research and commercialisation, and in promoting research and scholarship. The governing body of the University is the University Court, which oversees the management of the revenue, property and other resources of the University. The Senate is responsible for the regulation and superintendence of teaching and the promotion of research.
3 FORMULATION OF THE SCHEME
The University of Aberdeen has adopted the model publication scheme for Scottish Higher Education Institutions, prepared under the auspices of Universities Scotland's Freedom of Information Working Group. The Working Group made a consultation draft available to all member institutions, the Trades Unions recognised by Universities Scotland member institutions, the National Union of Students, and the Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland. Universities Scotland also consulted with the Scottish Consumer Council. The use of a sectoral model avoided institutions duplication of effort in producing individual schemes, and assists the public in accessing information across the sector.
4 RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PUBLICATION SCHEME
The Secretary to the University has overall responsibility of the University's publication scheme. The University's Freedom of Information Officer has day-to-day responsibility for running the scheme and can be contacted at the following address:
Freedom of Information Officer
University of Aberdeen
ABERDEEN AB24 3FX
The University of Aberdeen is committed to a publication scheme that demonstrates openness, transparency and availability of information to the public. In some cases, information may be withheld from any of the classes of information listed, where it is considered that disclosure will seriously prejudice law enforcement, legal proceedings or a regulatory or enforcement activity, or where the disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law. The University may also withhold information if its disclosure would breach the law of confidentiality or seriously prejudice the commercial interests of any person or organisation, including statistical information in cases where small numbers may allow the identification of individuals. It may also withhold information which is personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998.
6 RECORDS MANAGEMENT AND ARCHIVING POLICY
The University of Aberdeen adopted a Records Management Policy and Records Retention Schedules in May 2007.
The University retains the copyright in material which it publishes on the web or where it is provided (in whatever form) in response to an individual request. Such material may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the University. Information obtained from this publication scheme can be copied or reproduced without formal permission, provided it is copied or reproduced accurately, is not used in a misleading context, and provided that the source of the material is identified and the copyright status acknowledged.
8 ACCESSING INFORMATION UNDER THE PUBLICATION SCHEME
Information available under the publication scheme can be accessed in various media. Most of the information is available online. Information can also be requested by telephone, post or email, addressed to the University's Freedom of Information Officer, or to a specific Section of the University, depending on the nature of the enquiry. Information may also be available by inspection on-site. Information is also available in different media, where required under the Disability Discrimination Act.
9 CHARGING POLICY
Where information is advertised as available online, individuals may download documents without charge when using their own equipment. Single copies of publications which are produced for the information of the public (for example, prospectuses) will be made available free of charge, subject to these being the current versions of the publications and the University having copies available. Where information is otherwise required to be provided, the University reserves the right to charge for the cost of staff time, materials and postage involved in providing it. The charges are currently under consideration. No charge will be made when information is not currently available on the web, or where an enquirer does not have ready access to the web, or where there is need to provide the information in an alternative medium as a result of a disability or other good cause. Requests for information should be addressed to the Freedom of Information Officer, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen AB24 3FX.
10 FEEDBACK AND COMPLAINTS
We welcome suggestions as to how the University's publication scheme might be improved. Any questions, comments or complaints about the scheme should be made in writing to the Secretary to the University, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen AB24 3FX. If the University is unable to resolve a complaint, a complaint can be made to the Scottish Information Commissioner, Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Double Dykes Road, St Andrews KY16 9DS.
Further information about the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act is available on the Scottish Information Commissioner's website, at www.itspublicknowledge.info