What is public sector information for RPSI purposes?

Public sector information means information that you produce as part of your public task. ‘Public task’ means your core role and functions, as defined in legislation or established through custom and practice.

It is possible that you may hold some information that is not part of your public task. If so, this would not be covered by RPSI.

RPSI does not apply to information that would be exempt from disclosure under information access legislation, ie the Data Protection Act (the DPA), the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), the INSPIRE regulations, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations and the INSPIRE (Scotland) Regulations.

However, information that would be exempt from an access request under section 21 of FOIA or section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act because it is already reasonably accessible to the requester (for example because it is on your website) would normally be available for re-use.

RPSI does not apply to recorded information you hold if someone else holds the intellectual property rights (eg copyright or database right). You can only permit re-use if you hold the intellectual property rights in the information.

What is re-use?

Re-use means using public sector information, for a purpose other than the initial public task it was produced for.

Typically, this would mean an individual, a company or other organisation taking information you have produced and republishing it or using it to produce a new product or resource, often by combining it with other information. This is sometimes, though not always, on a commercial basis. RPSI is intended to encourage re-use of public sector information.

RPSI is about permitting re-use of information and how it is made available. It is not about accessing information, which is dealt with under information access legislation.