Licence Clarification for NSPL and ONSPD

The request was successful.

Dear Office for National Statistics,

This isn't strictly an FOI request, but I would like get clarification about the licences under which your "National Statistics Postcode Lookup" (NSPL) and "ONS Postcode Directory" (ONSPD) as described at can be re-used. (I could make a formal request under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations, but hopefully a simple clarification from you regarding the points below will be more expedient.)

If I've understood things correctly, the information on the Great Britain (non-BT) postcodes contained in the NSPL and ONSPD may be re-used under the Open Government Licence (OGL) v3, with the attribution statements listed under the "Postcode Products" section at . I'd be grateful if you could you confirm that this is the case.

Could you also confirm (as per the exemptions section of the OGL) that there are no "third party rights the Information Provider is not authorised to license" contained in the non-BT NSPL and/or ONSPD data? In particular, I don't think that the "Postcode user type", "Date of introduction" and "Date of termination" fields are available in other OS/Geoplace Open Data products. So could you explicitly confirm that you have the necessary permissions to allow these to be re-used under the OGL?

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker,

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FOI Team, Office for National Statistics

Our Reference: FOI/2022/3481


Dear Robert,


Thank you for your email requesting data pertaining to using the National
Statistics Postcode Lookup (NSPL) and ONS Postcode Directory.


I am writing to confirm that the Office for National Statistics has now
completed its search for the information which you requested and the
response can be found here:


You have the right to have this response to your Freedom of Information
request reviewed internally by an internal review process and, if you
remain unhappy with the decision, by the Information Commissioner. If you
would like to have the decision reviewed please email the Freedom of
Information Team at ‘[ONS request email]’ or write to The FoI Team, Room
1100, Office for National Statistics, Segensworth Road, Titchfield PO15
5RR, and mark your correspondence "Internal Review".

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Freedom of
Information Team ('[ONS request email]').

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future


The Freedom of Information Team

Office for National Statistics


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Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

Just in case the page linked above gets removed at some point in the future, here is the key text from the ONS's response:

"We can confirm this is correct. Here is the wording from the ONSPD/NSPL User Guide:

'You may re-use this information (not including logos or Northern Ireland data) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the relevant data owners' licence. In addition, the following attribution statements must be acknowledged or displayed whenever the owner's data is used:
* Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right [year]
* Contains Royal Mail data © Royal Mail copyright and database right [year]
* Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.3.0'

Also, the fields mentioned (user type, date of introduction and termination) are included in the OGL."