The Data Protection Act (DPA) covers personal data, that is, data which relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data, or from that data and other information available to the University. The DPA imposes important and significant obligations on every employee of the University in regards the manner in which we acquire, store, and dispose of (i.e. ‘process') personal data. It should not be disclosed to anyone other than in accordance with the DPA, and if you receive a request for personal data you should always seek advice from Your FOI contact.
The Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) gives anyone a right to access any recorded information held by UEA unless that information is covered by an exemption. The Environmental Regulations (EIR) make special provision for disclosing information related to the environment (the meaning of both ‘the environment' and ‘related to' is drawn very widely) but is in many ways similar to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Recorded information includes all internal documents, emails, and data held for or generated by research. Of course, personal data should never be released, other than under the provisions of the DPA and further information is provided in the Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations Guidance for Staff.
In addition, UEA is committed to the highest standards of openness, probity and accountability. It seeks to conduct its affairs in a responsible manner taking into account the requirements of the funding bodies and the standards in public life set out in the reports of the Nolan Committee. An important aspect of this commitment is the availability of a mechanism whereby staff may voice concerns in a responsible and effective manner. The Council of the University has approved this policy statement and procedure so that when an individual discovers information which he or she believes to show malpractice/wrong doing within the University, this information may be disclosed (if necessary independently of line management) without fear of reprisal. Further information is provided in the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblowing) Policy