Access to Information

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute is a transparent and open organisation committed to publishing information about what we do on this website. This information can be accessed using the search facility clearly marked on all our pages, or by selecting the particular area and navigating through the site.

However, there may be other issues about which you would like further information and in this part of our website we explain how you can get such information.

Subject access requests

If you want to ask us for information which we may hold about you personally then this will be dealt with under UK Data Protection Law (Data Protection Act 2018 + UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR)). This would include any information which is limited to you as a person such as information relating to your employment and training records. If you are a European citizen, we will process your personal information in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR).

If you wish to make a Subject Access Request you should either email or write to the AFBI FOI Officer, AFBI, 18a Newforge Lane, Belfast, BT9 5PX, specifying the information you wish to be made available to you and enclosing proof of identity such as copy of a formal document or bill with your name and address on it and a copy of your driving licence or passport.  This is standard AFBI procedure in line with the guidance ‘Subject Access Code of Practice’ published by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Information Commissioners Office
Under the Data Protection Act 2018/GDPR we have one calendar month to provide the information you ask for. If you are unhappy with any aspect of the way in which we deal with your Subject Access Request you may complain to the Head of Governance & Performance or to the Information Commissioner. 

Information Commissioner,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,

If you feel we have failed to disclose information without good reason you may apply to a Court for disclosure.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Publication Scheme

In order to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 public sector organisations such as ours have to routinely publish information whenever possible.

The Information Commissioner, who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, has drawn up a Model Publication Scheme for all public sector organisations. We have adopted and are formally committed to the Model Publication Scheme Definition document which can be downloaded at the following link: Information Commissioner's Office Definition document 

The information we routinely put into the public domain is regularly reviewed to ensure we are compliant with the Definition document. You will be able to see where we don’t hold relevant information or where for some reason we have decided not to routinely disclose information identified in the Definition document by referring to our Publication Scheme: AFBI's Publication Scheme

Most of the information we make routinely available can be accessed through our website by using the search facility. Such information is continually updated. If you cannot find information through the search engine and we have indicated in the Definition document that the information is routinely available this may be because the information cannot be loaded onto our website. In such circumstances please contact the Head of Governance & Performance and ask for the information to be provided to you.

Disclosure logs

Information requests received by the Agri-Food and Biosciences institute can be viewed using this link: Disclosure logs 

Accessing information which is not included in the Publication Scheme

As an open and transparent organisation, we are committed to routinely publishing as much information as possible. If you want information which is not on our website or otherwise available through our guide to information you may ask us for it in accordance with further provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Requests for such information should be sent to the Head of Finance and Corporate Affairs Division at the address above or emailed to Please refer to the "AFBI FOI: Right to know" leaflet for further information.

By law, we have to deal with such requests within 20 working days. If you make a request and are not satisfied with the way in which we deal with it, you may ask us to review any decision we make. If you wish us to undertake such a review you should write to the Head of Governance & Performance.

Any review will normally be under the control and direction of a senior member of staff who had no involvement in the original decision or process.

If you remain dissatisfied at the conclusion of any review you may complain to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,

Charges and copyright Issues


The Freedom of Information Act and the associated Fees Regulations stipulate that we cannot levy a fee for information unless there is a statutory basis for doing so or the amount of time taken to locate the information exceeds 18 hours. However, we are allowed to charge for disbursements related to the provision of information and any reformatting requested by the applicant, provided we ensure that applicants are aware of any charges which may be made.

Wherever possible, we shall aim to make information available free of charge. The exceptions are:

  • when a cover charge is indicated for a printed document
  • when substantial resources are required to respond to a request

AFBI does not charge for documents downloaded from its website. However, the user will have to meet any charges by their internet service provider and personal printing costs. For those without Internet access, a single printout from the website will be available by post from the Head of Finance & Corporate Affairs Division. Multiple printouts or archived copies of documents which are no longer available on the website may warrant a charge to cover the cost of photocopying and postage. We will let you know this at the time of your request. Any charge will be payable in advance.

Copyright Issues

The supply of information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) does not give the recipient or organisation that receives it the automatic right to re-use it in any way that would infringe copyright. This includes, for example, making multiple copies, publishing and issuing copies to the public. Brief extracts of any of the material included in AFBI's website may be reproduced under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (sections 29 and 30) for the purposes of research for non-commercial purposes, private study, criticism, review and news reporting.  Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 

If you want any further information about the provision of information or have any difficulty accessing information provided on our website please contact the Head of Governance & Performance.

Requests for Information - Privacy Notice

View our Privacy Notice in relation to requests for information.

Citizens rights under GDPR & DPA 2018

AFBI is committed to complying with the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 and has written a guide for citizens using AFBI's services for testing, research or other contracted purposes to advise of their rights.

AFBI Guide to Citizens' Rights under GDPR/Data Protection Act 2018