Making a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

This page provides straightforward guidance on how to make a Freedom of Information request.

What information can I request?
You can ask for any information you think the University may hold. You can only obtain information that would be given to anybody who asked for it, or would be suitable for the general public to see.  The right only covers recorded information which includes information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten documents as well as images, video and audio recordings. Some information may not be given to you because it is exempt, for example because it would unfairly reveal personal details about somebody else.

If your request is for information about yourself, such as your HR or Occupational Health records, you should make a Subject Access Request under the UK GDPR.

Will I get all of my data?
Some information may be exempt from your access. Should this be the case, we will provide what information we can. If we decide we are unable to provide the information requested, we will write to you, explaining why. 

How do I make a request?
You make a request in one of the following ways:

  • By email to
  • By post to Freedom of Information Officer, Legal & Governance, University of Liverpool, 2nd Floor Foundation Building, 765 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69 7ZX

A valid FOI request must be made by email or in writing and requires you to:  

  • Give your real name; and
  • Give an address to which we can reply. This can be a postal or email address.

You should identify the information you want as clearly as possible. You should not deliberately ‘fish’ for information by submitting a very broad or random requests. Requests should be directed towards obtaining information on a particular issue.

If you require specific document(s), tell us any details that you may have such as an author or its likely location (e.g. the relevant staff member, department or faculty).  If you require statistics, try to be as precise as possible about timescales and provide definitions of any terminology you use.  

If we cannot determine exactly what information you require, we will contact you to clarify your request.  

When will I receive my information?
The University will respond within 20 working days from the date your request is received and verified. You will be informed of the deadline for your request in an acknowledgement email or letter, depending on how you make your request to us.

If a request is complex or numerous, this can be extended by a further two months. We will tell you as soon as possible if an extension is required.

Unhappy with our response?
You can request an internal review if you are unhappy with the University’s response to your FOI request. Please state the grounds on which you wish the decision to be reviewed and enclose any other information that may be useful in considering the matter further. We aim to inform you of our decision within 20 working days from the date your request for internal review is received.

If you are not satisfied with the results of the internal review you may apply to the Information Commissioner's Office for an independent review. Please be aware that they will ask you to contact the University in the first instance if you haven’t done so already. 

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow SK9 5AF 

Last update: 5th January 2021