Freedom of Information
Amgueddfa Cymru is Wales's premier heritage organization.
The Museum was established by a Royal Charter in 1907 as the National Museum of Wales. The Museum develops, cares for, studies and encourages access to its collections for the benefit of society in perpetuity. The 1907 Charter states that this is to be achieved primarily by the complete illustration of the geology, mineralogy, zoology, botany, ethnography, archaeology, art, history and special industries of Wales and generally by collection, conservation, elucidation, presentation and publication.
Although an independent chartered body, Amgueddfa Cymru is supported by the National Assembly for Wales as an Assembly Sponsored Public Body (ASPB) and receives its core funding through grant-in-aid.
The Museum shares a common vision with the National Assembly, as both institutions are working to create a confident, outward-looking Wales. It is under this vision that the Museum is committed to making its published information available under the Freedom of Information - Publication Scheme.
The Museum currently operates seven museums across Wales:
National Museum Cardiff,Cathays Park, Cardiffthe National Waterfront Museum, Swansea
St Fagans National History Museum, St Fagans, Cardiff
the National Roman Legionary Museum, Caerleon, Newport
the National Slate Museum Llanberis, Gwynedd
the National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre
Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenafon
Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) was passed on the 30th November 2000 with the intention of encouraging greater openness in government and public bodies. It gives a general right of access to all types of published information held by public bodies. The right to access for information held by a public body can be exercised by anyone, general public or legal persons, UK citizen and worldwide.
In line with other Welsh Assembly public bodies, Amgueddfa Cymru will be required to implement the Act from 1 January 2005. From this time, anyone will be able to make a request for information by writing or e-mailing the Museum.
FOI gives those requesting information two related requests:
- The right to be informed whether the information requested exists
- The right to receive the information, where possible in the manner requested.
In cases where the information requested falls within one of the exemptions, the NMGW is required to consider the public interest test. This test determines whether the exemption in question outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
The Publication Scheme is a list of publications produced by Amgueddfa Cymru. Amgueddfa Cymru believes that public access to museum and collection information improves public understanding of the culture and heritage sector within Wales. The aim of Publication Scheme is to explain what information the the Museum makes available to the public, and wherever possible provide an easy method of accessing this information.
Information on the Museum's Publication Scheme
The Freedom of Information Act requires each public body to produce and maintain a Publication Scheme. The purpose of Publication Schemes is to specify the following:
- The classes of information that the public body publishes or intends to publish,
- The form in which this material will be available,
- Whether the information is available free of charge or if a fee will be charged.
The aims of the Publication Scheme is to explain to the public what information the Museum makes available and where possible, to make access to the information as easy as possible.
This Publication Scheme has been designed to highlight information and publications from the Museum. Some of the documents listed may be available on the website and links are provided to enable you to obtain them easily. Where no online version is available the contact point or viewing location will be listed in the scheme.
Information that is generated by the Museum and included in this publication scheme may be reproduced for information and personal study use. If you would like to reproduce any image or graphic-based information, please contact the Museum's Commercial Office for permission to reproduce images and graphics.
Permission to reproduce information in the publication scheme is not extended to any material that is identified as being the copyright of a third party. Permission to reproduce such material must be obtained directly from the copyright holder concerned.
The information listed within the Amgueddfa Cymru Publication Scheme is generally available in an electronic format by downloading the relevant document from the Museum's website. This information can be downloaded free of charge.
Information is available in hard copy by requesting in writing to the relevant department as noted in the Publication Scheme. Where a charge applies, this is specified. Please see the section on charging.
Certain information is available for viewing through two of the Museum's libraries: National Museum and Gallery Cardiff and the Museum of Welsh Life, St. Fagans. Please call to make an appointment.
It is Amgueddfa Cymru policy to provide the information in both Welsh and English formats. Please specify the preferred language when requesting hard copies.
Classes of Information
The Freedom of Information Act requires a Publication Scheme to specify the classes of information that the public body already publishes or intends to publish. It is Amgueddfa Cymru's intention is to publish as much information on subjects where there is known public interest.
There may be cases where exemptions will apply; the Freedom of Information Act may prevent some information from being released.
Amgueddfa Cymru publishes or intends to publish information under the classes listed below.
Information about Amgueddfa Cymru
Information about the Museum's management structure, its corporate reports, plans and strategies, the minutes of Council and Directorate, internal policies and the list of donors and benefactors.
Current News and Information
This section contains information about current events, job vacancies, and general site information.
Educational services and activities
This section contains information on educational services and activities, and online worksheets and guides available within NMGW.
Collections and Curatorial Issues
This section provides information relating to the collections, a list of current research programmes, catalogues of collections (when available), and a list of current curatorial reports and activities. In addition, this section provides information on loans to external institutions.
This sections provides information on visitor figures for all seven museums and will provide promotional information in forms such as site leaflets, lists of forthcoming events and Premier, our news publication containing information on the collections and recent events.
This section provides information on corporate hire facilities and services.
Information not listed in the Publication Scheme
As set out under 'access to Government Information' you can also apply for access to information not listed in the Publication Scheme. If what you require is not available under the scheme please apply in writing to:
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
Telephone +44 (0) 29 20 573 204
When requesting information please include the following details:
- Your name and address
- The information or documents you would like to access
- The way you would like the information to be sent to you
(for example as hard copy, email or Microsoft Word document on a computer disk)
If you have difficulty identifying the information you require, please contact the Museum Secretary on: +44 (0) 29 20 573 204.
When the individual right of access is implemented it will apply to all types of recorded information held by public authorities regardless of the date of the information. If the information being requested is subject to an exemption, Amgueddfa Cymru will have to consider whether to override that exemption because of the public interest to release the information. Information will only be withheld if the public interest in withholding the information is greater than the public interest in releasing it. That is, when disclosure would cause substantial harm or breach confidentiality.
Where the exemption or an absolute exemption exists, Amgueddfa Cymru will not be required to disclose whether or not it holds the information, however, Amgueddfa Cymru will provide the applicant with an explanation for its decision. In the event where a request has been refused, the applicant will be told of their right to appeal the decision to the Information Commissioner.
Requests for information about oneself, such a request will be considered under the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be exempt under FOI.
Charging under the Publication Scheme
The aim of the Publication Scheme is to make as much information as possible available to you free of charge. Requests for multiple copies or for archival documents that are no longer available on the Museum's website, may incur a charge for the cost of retrieval, photocoping and postage. If your request does attract any charges we will ask whether you wish to continue with the request before we undertake the work. VAT is not charged. The charges given below are subject to regular review.
1. Information provided free
- Annual and financial reports
- Facts and analysis behind major policy decisions
- Corporate reports, plans and strategies
- Information on our services
- It also includes access to collection information held on the Internet
- General telephone queries
- Copies of free site leaflets available at each of the NMGW locations
2. Published printed or electronic information and other media that are available for sale will carry the published purchase price.
It is policy to be as open as possible and to supply the information you have requested, but we may withhold information if we consider its release would cause significant harm.
If information within a document made available under this Publication Scheme is withheld the document will be clearly marked to show where information has been removed and the exemption we have used.
If we refuse to supply all or part of any other information you have asked for we will write to you giving our reasons for refusal. The reasons will be based on the exempted categories under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
In any case where a request for information under the individual right of access is denied, it may be possible to appeal against the decision. In the first instance we would want any such appeals to be referred for in-house review by the NMGW, but there will also be a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner (see below).
If you are not satisfied with the reasons provided by NMGW, you have the right to appeal. You may also appeal if you believe the charges we have made to supply information are unfair. Appeals may be submitted to:
The Information Commissioner
Fax: (01625) 524 510