The Re-Use of Public Sector Information

The Re-Use of Public Sector Information

Achieving the minimum standards of fairness and transparency in relation to the re-use of its information.

Re-using our information - our policy

The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 (Statutory Instrument 2005/151) came into force on 1st July 2005. Worcestershire County Council has made a commitment to allow re-use of its information, wherever it is possible and reasonable to do so, in order to support commercial growth and release the value of its information for the benefit of the economy as a whole.

In recognition of its commitment to implementing the Re-use Regulations, Worcestershire County Council has achieved accreditation under the Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS). The IFTS scheme sets and assesses standards for public sector bodies and requires them to encourage re-use of information and achieve minimum standards of fairness and transparency in relation to the re-use of its information.

The Re-use Regulations establish a framework for making the re-use of information easier. They compliment existing access to information legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

If you would like more information about how to apply to re-use our information, please contact the Information Access Officer.

What are the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations about?

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

See the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.

The Regulations are designed to help unlock the value held in public sector information and to allow re-use of these resources for the benefit of commercial exploitation. By allowing the private sector to re-use information that has been produced by the public sector, value may be added to products and services. In this way, we can help support and stimulate both the local Worcestershire economy and the national economy.

The Regulations provide a statutory framework through which you can apply to re-use public sector information and are based upon the principles of fairness, transparency, non-discrimination and consistency of application.

The Regulations are designed to compliment the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations. The Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations both provide a statutory public right of access to information held by Public Authorities subject to the application of legal exemptions in certain cases. However, although this legislation gives a right of access to publicly held information, they do not automatically give an applicant a right to re-use that information. The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations however are designed to enable an applicant to re-use public sector information.

The Regulations impose the following main obligations upon a public sector body:

  • to publish a list of its documents which are available for re-use. This list is referred to as an Information Asset Register. Currently WCC's Information Asset Register is contained within its Publication Scheme
  • to provide a clear statement on the arrangements for re-use of its information
  • to clearly explain any applicable charges for re-use and any licence terms and conditions
  • to process applications for re-use in a timely, open and transparent manner and through fair, consistent and non-discriminatory processes.
  • to establish a quick and easily accessible complaints process.

What is meant by "re-use"?

Information is generally produced by Worcestershire County Council as part of its statutory duty to carry out public functions (its public task).  A re-use of that information will occur when that information is used for a purpose other than that for which it was originally produced.

The Regulations do not require WCC to permit re-use of its documents. However, where we do permit a re-use to one party for a purpose which is outside the scope of our public task, the Regulations require us to consider requests from others in a fair and transparent manner. Where re-use is permitted by more than one party, this must be on the same terms and conditions for comparable categories of re-use.

What information will you allow me to re-use?

Generally, WCC will permit re-use of all of the documents listed on our Publication Scheme (unless otherwise stated).

If you would like to re-use a document which is not listed in our Publication Scheme, you can still apply to us and we will consider your application.

Information which has been produced by WCC and which is already reasonably accessible to you. For example, a policy document which is published on our website*

*subject to our copyright.

There are categories of document which are specifically excluded from the scope of the Regulations. To reflect the Regulations, WCC would not usually permit re-use of information falling within the following categories;

Where the relevant intellectual property rights in the document are owned or controlled by a person or organisation other than WCC. However, if we refuse to allow re-use of a document which falls within this category, we will tell you who does own or control the intellectual property rights (where known to us) so that you can contact them direct. Examples of relevant intellectual property rights are copyright, performance rights and database rights.

Where the document is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Information Regulations, Data Protection Act or other legislation dealing with access to information.  An exception to this rule is where section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act or section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act applies.  These sections cover information which is exempt from disclosure because it is already "reasonably accessible to the applicant". For example, information published on our website or information which we have a statutory duty to disclose to you (other than by way of inspection).

Documents that fall outside the scope of our public task. This covers those situations where we may produce documents that are not directly related to our core responsibilities, such as where they are optional commercial products competing in the open market.

The Regulations do not apply in cases where citizens or companies have to prove a particular interest in the information in order to gain access to it. For example, information which would only be released in response to a subject access request under the Data Protection Act would not be available for re-use, due to this provision.

Finally, the Regulations do not apply to a document unless it has been identified by WCC as being available for re-use.

What is an Information Asset Register and do you have one?

An Information Asset Register is a list of documents which a Public Sector Body has identified as being available for re-use. The list may include both published and unpublished information. Those Public Sector Bodies which have to comply with the Re-use Regulations are required to publish an Information Asset Register.

Currently, WCC's Information Asset Register can be found within its Publication Scheme. Unless otherwise stated all documents held within our Publication Scheme are available for re-use subject to our standard implied licence terms and conditions.

Online Publication Scheme/Information Asset Register

Alternatively, hard copies of our Publication Scheme/Information Asset Register can be found at our libraries, One-Stop Shops and at Reception at County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester WR5 2NP.

How do I make a request to re-use your information?

Once you have obtained access to the document you would like to re-use (perhaps via a Freedom of Information request or similar), you may apply to re-use it.

In order to help us process your request as swiftly as possible please ensure that your application:

  • is in writing
  • states your name and address, including any organisation you represent
  • contains full details of the document you would like to re-use and
  • contains the purposes for which you would like to re-use the document

We are happy to accept applications by post or email.

Please send to:

Corporate Information Governance Team

Worcestershire County Council

County Hall

Spetchley Road

Worcestershire WR5 2NP


Your application will be processed promptly and within 20 working days. By this time you will either receive a final offer permitting re-use together with any conditions of re-use or a refusal letter. If your application is complex or particularly extensive we may require longer to process it, in which case it will be processed within a reasonable time period.

Our schedule of charges (PDF) sets out our charges for providing you with information.

What are your terms and conditions of re-using your information?

If we agree that you can re-use our information, we will require you agree to our terms and conditions of re-use.  These terms and conditions are set out in our Licence Agreements. We operate 4 different types of licence depending upon the unique circumstances of your application.

We will advise you which form of Licence applies upon your application.

Implied Re-use and Copyright Licence

In most cases you will be able to re-use our information, free of charge, by simply indicating your agreement to our Implied Licence terms.

Standard Licence

In some circumstances we may require you to agree to our Standard Re-use Licence. For example, where we wish to recover nominal charges and/or impose re-use conditions over and above those contained in our Implied Licence.

Full Charge Fixed Fee Licence

In some circumstances we may require a reasonable return on investment by way of a single fixed fee.  In such cases we will require you to agree to our Full Charge Fixed Fee Licence.

Full Charge Royalty Licence

In some circumstances we may require you to pay a reasonable return on investment by way of a percentage of profits made on products incorporating re-use material.  In such cases we will require you to agree to our Full Charge Royalty Licence.

Do I have to pay to re-use your information?

In most circumstances material may be re-used without charge; however, where the Council is requested to convert material or if there is a charge for a reasonable return on investment, a charge may be made.  The following guidance explains what fees might apply and how they are calculated.

WCC may require you to contribute towards the cost of meeting your application for re-use by paying either a Nominal or Full Charge. 

If you have been charged for access to the same information e.g., under a Freedom of Information request, we will not make further charges in respect of the collection and production of the information.  However, you may still be required to pay a reasonable return on our investment (see below)

a. Nominal charges may cover our basic costs relating to:

(i) the collection, production, reproduction and dissemination of the documents e.g., copying, printing and postage.

Standard Nominal Charges

(ii) the cost of conversion of the information to a different format or extraction from a larger dataset.

Please note, WCC is not required to provide the information in a particular format e.g., as a spreadsheet or in a compatible database format, or extract it from a larger dataset.  However, we will try and meet reasonable requests wherever possible, in which case there may be an additional charge.

B. Full Charges

Full charges may include nominal charges together with a reasonable return on our investment.  A reasonable return on investment may be sought in certain circumstances. For example, where WCC has made a significant professional or technical input into the creation of the information, beyond simple collection and collation of information or where you propose to make a commercial re-use of the material.

In calculating a reasonable return on investment, WCC reserves the right to impose either a Royalty or a Fixed Fee.

B1. Fixed Fees

A fixed fee is a fee that is payable either once or at agreed intervals. Fixed fees will usually be used in the following circumstances:

Where the material is re-used in a way that does not involve the offer for sale of a product or service to a customer:

Where the quantity of material being used is modest. For text this will be up to 5,000 words. Most tables, diagrams, illustrations and photographs will be handled this way:

Where the material will be made available free of charge (and where it is agreed to licence such re-use). For example, a user may wish to re-use material in a free issue publication or on a free access website. The fees are partly dependent on the type of material and how it is presented:

Where the material represents a small proportion of a large database product.

The range of fees is set out in the following paragraphs.

Fixed Fee - Text

The following fees apply for the re-use of material in all formats, including print, on the web, and intranet. It does not include photocopying. The first 1,000 words can be re-used free of charge. Quantities exceeding 1,000 words will be charged according to the amount of material being used in any single product or service, as illustrated below:

Number of words fees Number of words   Fee in any single product or service

1,001 - 2,000 words £60

2,001 - 3,000 words £120

Fixed fee - Tables, illustrations, diagrams and photographs

The first item can be re-used free of charge, but all subsequent items will be charged at £50 for each item in any single product or service. This covers the re-use of illustrative material in books, on the web, in journals and newspapers and on television. Additional fees are payable for supply of photographic prints/negatives and artwork by the holding department/ organisation. In the context of this document, a table means an arrangement or collection of text or numbers not exceeding 1,000 words/numbers. It also means a single graph.

Number of items fees Fee in any single product or service

1 item No charge

2 items £50

3 items £100

See Full Charge Fixed Fee Licence

B2. Royalties

A royalty is a fee that is linked to the amount of income generated from the sale of your product. They are generally payable annually. The royalty approach is often used in the following circumstances:

Where the material is re-used in a commercial product that is offered for sale; and/or

Where a substantial amount of material is being re-used.

Our royalty rate is 10%. This rate is linked to the level of income generated by the product and how much material is being re-used. Example: if the re-use material made up 25% of the contents of a published text, the fee due would be based on the following calculation:

10% of Licensee Income x 25%

So, if the publisher sells 3,000 copies of a book during a royalty period and generates £30,000 from sales after taking into account the booksellers' or agents' discount, the fee would be £750 (10% x £30,000 x 25%).

See Full Charge Royalty Licence

How do I complain about how you have handled my re-use application or your re-use processes?

If we refuse your request to re-use our information, we will provide a written explanation of why your application has been refused and explain how you can complain, together with related rights of appeal.

If you want to complain about the way WCC has handled your application for re-use or complain generally about our re-use policy and processes you should write to the Consumer Relations Unit.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint or the way in which we have handled your complaint generally, you are entitled to refer your complaint to the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) at:

Office of Public Sector Information

Admiralty Arch (North Side)

The Mall



If you are not satisfied with the response from OPSI you can appeal their decision to the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI) at:

Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information

Admiralty Arch

North Side

The Mall

London SW1A 2WA

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