Accessing official documents at Uppsala University
The exercise of power by public authorities must be subject to scrutiny and control. The principle of public access to information guarantees transparency. It means that everyone has the right to access official documents that are open to the public.
The principle of public access to official documents is enshrined in Swedish constitutional law, in the Freedom of the Press Act (FPA), and means that anyone can contact a public authority and request access to an official document, such as a decision made by the authority.
A person requesting access to a document does not need to give their name or indicate how they intend to use the document.
What is an official document?
A document is official if it has been produced at, sent from or received by a public authority. The document must be in the authority’s possession.
An official document may be a text, an image, a tape recording, a film or other information, for example, information stored on a computer.
The general rule is that official documents are public. Anyone should be able to access them.
Which official documents are not public?
Some official documents contain classified information that must not be disclosed. Information can be kept secret under the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act if it pertains to:
- national security or Sweden’s relations with a foreign state or an international organisation;
- the nation’s central financial, monetary or currency policy;
- the inspection, control or other supervisory activities of a public authority;
- the interests of preventing or prosecuting crime;
- the economic interests of public institutions;
- the protection of the personal or economic circumstances of individual members of society; or
- the preservation of animal and plant species.
- Documents in cases where no decision has yet been made are often not public.
A secrecy assessment is therefore always conducted before making documents available.
How do I obtain access to an official document?
To obtain access to an official document from Uppsala University, contact the University’s registrar or archivists. You have a right to access the document and the University, as a public authority, is obliged to make it available without unnecessary delay.
You also have a right to receive a transcript or a copy of the document, for which you pay a fee. Under the Fees Ordinance (1992:191), there is no charge for the first nine pages, the tenth page costs 50 kronor and each additional page 2 kronor.
Certain documents may be made available electronically. It is the public authority that determines the formats in which it makes documents available (FPA, Chapter 2, Article 16).
A request for an official document at Uppsala University:
• is registered at the University and is itself an official document, which can be made available upon request;
• is forwarded to any officials affected by a request for access to a document, for their information.
We will process your request promptly, which can mean, as explained by the Parliamentary Ombudsman (JO), that it may be a few days before you are informed whether the document requested is official and public and can therefore be made available. If a substantial quantity of material is requested, it may take longer (see e.g. decisions JO 4209-09 and JO 5308-11).
If the University rejects your request for access to the document, you are generally entitled to have the matter reviewed by a court (the administrative court of appeal). To do this, you need a written appealable decision (Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act, Chapter 6, Section 3). You therefore have a right to receive such a decision from the University.
Special information concerning requests for email logs and email correspondence at Uppsala University
Requests for email logs/email messages come under the regulations on requests for official documents outlined above.
Documents from the email system at Uppsala University are not made available in digital form (FPA, Chapter 2, Article 16). These documents can only be received in the form of paper copies or read on a visit to the University.
Paper copies of documents are made available in exchange for a fee, as specified in the Fees Ordinance (1992:191).
You can facilitate our processing of your request for email logs/email messages by giving us the following information: time period, email addresses, and search terms if relevant.
At Uppsala University, messages are saved in the email system’s technical environment for approximately 30 days after being erased from user accounts.
To the extent that the messages requested can be retrieved, an assessment will be made of whether the documents are official. With a few exceptions, any email message arriving at or sent to/from Uppsala University is an official document. A message that is directly addressed to an employee of Uppsala University is an official document if the document concerns a case or other matter to be processed by the University, and is not intended for the recipient solely in their capacity as holder of another position (FPA, Chapter 2, Article 8).
Here you can find information about official documents:
Fees Ordinance (for information on fees for copies, transcripts, print-outs, etc.) (in Swedish)
Uppsala University’s rules:
Procedures for managing emails at Uppsala University
For more information, please contact: Registrar