1. LEGAL REQUIREMENT
1.1 Adopting a publication scheme is a requirement of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This Act promoted 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. BATH COLLEGE – WHO WE ARE
Bath College is a Further Education Corporation established under the terms of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. Bath College provides education and training to a wide range of qualifications and has links with a number of Universities and other training providers.
3. WHAT IS A PUBLICATION SCHEME?
3.1 A publication scheme is a document which describes the information a public authority publishes, or intends to publish. In this context, ‘publish’ means to make information available, routinely. 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, the public authority’s commitment to make available the information described.
4. THE MODEL PUBLICATION SCHEME FOR FURTHER EDUCATION
4.1 Bath College has adopted the model publication scheme developed for Higher/Further Education sector and is therefore committed to publishing the information it describes.
5. ACCESSING INFORMATION COVERED BY THE PUBLICATION SCHEME
5.1 The classes of information we publish are described in the second part of the scheme.
5.2 Next to each class we have indicated the manner in which the information described will be available. We have also indicated whether charges apply to material in each class.
5.3 To request information available through our publication scheme please contact: The Deputy Principal, Bath College, Avon Street, Bath BA1 1UP.
5.4 Please note that a publication scheme relates to ‘published’ information. Therefore, material covered has already been prepared in a format ready for distribution.
6. WHAT ABOUT INFORMATION NOT COVERED BY THE PUBLICATION SCHEME?
6.1 From 1st January 2005 you will 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 Requests will have to be made in writing and, in general, public authorities will have 20 working days to respond. They may charge a fee, which will have to be calculated according to Fees Regulations. They will not be required to release information to which an exemption in the Act legitimately applies. However, public authorities may be required to explain to the applicant why they are not releasing information and they may have to justify this to the Information Commissioner.
7.1 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 writing to the Publication Scheme Co-ordinator below:-
Mrs J Davis
Fax: 01225 328 864
Any complaints about this scheme should be sent to:
Mrs L Penrose
Fax: 01225 328 864
7.2 If you are unable to resolve any complaint, you can complain to the Information Commissioner, the independent body who oversees the Freedom of Information Act:
8. FURTHER INFORMATION
More information about the Freedom of Information Act is available on the Information Commissioner’s website.