Commercial interests and the economy
- The briefing below provides guidance on the consideration and application of the exemptions under section33 (Commercial interests and the economy) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), and the exceptions under regulations 10(5)(e) and 10(5)(f) of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs);
- Under the relevant exemptions and exceptions, information will normally only be appropriately withheld where it can be demonstrated that release would be likely to cause real and actual harm to a relevant commercial, financial or economic interest;
- Public authorities should develop full and appropriate reasoning and / or evidence in support of the application of any exemption / exception;
- The effect of the release of commercial, financial or economic information will frequently diminish over time;
- Each of the relevant FOISA exemptions and EIR exceptions are subject to a public interest test.
This briefing is intended to provide general guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant exemptions and exceptions. Please remember that all requests for information must be considered on a case by case basis, and the Commissioner's decision is made on the basis of the specific circumstances of each case.
Section 33 exemption briefing (PDF -162 kB)
Briefing last updated November 2011.
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