The Scottish Information Commissioner - It's Public Knowledge
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New to FOI BadgeNew to FOI? 

From time to time new bodies are brought under FOI law. When this happens, they become “public authorities” for the purposes of FOI. These pages provide guidance to help new authorities meet their FOI duties.  

Find out how bodies are brought under FOI


Latest designation

The Scottish Parliament has approved an Order bringing registered social landlords and many of their subsidiaries under FOI law. 

These bodies must be ready to comply with FOI by 11 November 2019.

Watch our short video introducing FOI rights to registered social landlords:

There's more information on the terms of the Order here.



FOI law

Designation under FOI law means that authorities must comply with the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations (EIRs) when they receive a request for environmental information, and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act for all other information. 

If someone asks an authority to give them their own personal information, this request must be responded to under data protection law, not FOI. 


FOI law – the three duties

FOI law places three main duties on authorities.  Meet these duties effectively, and you will meet your FOI responsibilities.

The three duties are:

Duty to Publish 150pxl

Duty to publish Authorities must publish information about the
work they do, the decisions they take and the
services they provide
 Duty to Respond150pxl
Duty to respond to requests Authorities must respond to the requests for
information they receive
 Duty to Advise150pxl Duty to advise and assist Authorities must help people who want to access
their information

Click on the links above for more information on each of the three FOI duties.



Other resources

  • Managing FOI  - guidance on managing your FOI function
  • Briefings and Guidance – Guidance on the key provisions in FOI and EIR law, including detailed guidance on using the FOI exemptions and EIR exceptions
  • FOI Checklist - a checklist to help organisations prepare for FOI
  • Your Rights - advice and guidance on FOI for requesters
  • Decisions Round-up - a regular round-up of the learning points from the Decisions issued by the Commissioner
  • Twitter - Follow the Scottish Information Commissioner on twitter for up-to-date news, events and FOI resources#
  • Resources for RSLs


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