Re-use of public sector information policy

Re-use of Data Sets

A dataset for the purposes of this policy is defined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) AS:

“A collection of factual information in electronic form related to the services and functions of the authority that is neither the product of analysis or interpretation, nor an official statistic and has not been materially altered”

A re-useable form is defined by the ICO AS:

“A re-usable form means that the data-set is in a machine readable format and based on open standards”

If WHBC makes information available under the FOIA that fits the definition of a data-set and this information is available or has been requested in electronic form, it must be made available in a re-usable form if reasonably practical. WHBC will treat each request individually and will consider if there are any limitations to providing the information. Making the request electronically is considered to be asking for an electronic copy unless the request specifies otherwise.

The time it takes to convert the information to a re-usable from or the cost and any technical issues can make it unreasonable, although these should be balanced with making information open for re-use whenever possible.

The EIR also require information to be made available electronically whenever possible and WHBC will handle the re-use of this electronic information in the same way.

If WHBC holds the copyright for this information it must make it available for re-use with a licence that permits re-use. To comply:

  • When datasets are released a licence for re-use will either be issued with them or details will be provided of how to obtain a licence.
  • When a request is received to re-use a dataset either a licence will be issued or details will be provided of how to obtain a licence.
  • The licence will include the conditions under which a licence will be granted in order to comply with Crown Copyright regulations.
  • Information released as a dataset under FOIA or EIR will be published in WHBC’s Publication Scheme available on the website at with details of how the information can be re-used or whether a request for re-use should be made.