Re-use of public sector information

Information produced by public sector organisations constitutes a key resource for innovative products and services.

The European Union has taken steps to facilitate the re-use of public sector information (PSI) through the Directive on Re-use of Public Sector Information (the Directive).

The Directive establishes a consistent framework of conditions governing re-use of public sector documents (including electronic documents) to ensure fair, proportionate and non-discriminatory conditions for re-use across the EU. It is implemented in the UK by the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (the Regulations).

We are committed to complying with the principles of the Regulations and there are a number of routes (both free and paid for) by which we permit re-use of our information; for details, please see our licensing pages (Licensing).

To help you understand how the Regulations apply to Ordnance Survey, please note the following:

1. Public Task is an important concept in the Regulations. It is one of the main factors determining whether information falls within the scope of the 2015 Regulations. View our Public Task statement. The Annex to the Public Task statement sets out the datasets and products that are currently created to deliver the Public Task and that are available for re-use. 

2. “Re-use” has a specific meaning under the Regulations, namely using public sector information for a purpose different from the one for which it was originally produced, held or disseminated.

3. Ordnance Survey is a recognised exception to the principle of marginal cost pricing under the Regulations – this is further explained in our Public Task statement.

4. The Regulations do not apply where a third party owns relevant intellectual property rights. Note that some Ordnance Survey products and datasets contain third-party intellectual property rights.

Freedom of Information

In addition to licensing our Products and Datasets, we also make a wide range of additional reference information available under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) – please refer to our FOIA Publication scheme

PSI complaints

Complaints about our licensing under PSI
If you have a complaint about our compliance with the Regulations, we will investigate it thoroughly. Details of our PSI internal complaints process are set out below.

If you are unhappy with the way that we have handled a PSI complaint, are not happy with the response we have provided or feel that the response is factually inaccurate and you wish the Information Commissioner’s Office to investigate further, please see the ICO complaints procedure for details of the relevant process.

PSI internal complaints process

1. You should make your complaint in writing by letter or email to your Account Manager or to our Customer Service Centre, marking your correspondence “Complaint under Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations”.

2. You will receive an initial acknowledgement to your complaint from either your Account Manager or the Customer Services team. Your Account Manager or the CSC will review your complaint and provide a response – usually within 10 working days.

3. If you are unhappy with our response, you can request that the matter is escalated to the relevant business group Director. We would hope to review and respond to you within a further 10 working days.

4. If you feel that the relevant business group Director’s response is either factually inaccurate or with how the process has been managed, you may request that the matter is referred to OS’s Director of Products and Innovation (who is Chair of our Pricing and Trading Group) who will review the matter and respond to you within a further 10 working days.

5. If you are not happy with our response at this stage, or at a previous stage, you may refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office as a formal complaint (see ICO complaints procedure).

Please note that all the above timescales are indicative and may vary depending upon the complexity of the matter. In any event we will keep you updated regarding anticipated timescales of our responses.

More information

Visit The National Archives website and the ICO website for more information about PSI.