Model publication schemes are produced for groups of similar public authorities e.g. local authorities, police forces. Once approved by the Commissioner, they can be adopted by any authority in that group. Adopting authorities cannot amend model schemes, though they may select options (where available) within a model scheme.
The Commissioner strongly recommends that public authorities adopt a model publication scheme rather than creating their own "bespoke" publication scheme. The Commissioner's review of publication schemes in 2010 identified a number of key benefits -for public authorities and members of the public - in a more consistent approach to publication schemes across Scotland. Model schemes also already have the Commissioner's approval. Since 2011, the Commissioner has been developing and approving a single model publication scheme, reviewed and updated each year, which is suitable for adoption by all authorities.
This page provides the Model Publication Scheme for 2013 and associated resources. This is the current model scheme which authorities can adopt in 2013. You can still see Previous model schemes, but as these expire, they will be replaced by the single Model Publication Scheme.
The Model Publication Scheme 2013 is based on the best practice developed by Scottish public authorities and the Commissioner since 2004. It can be downloaded below:
The model scheme is suitable for adoption by any Scottish public authority, and particularly those whose schemes are due for renewal in 2013 - bodies listed in Parts 3, 5 and 6 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). That is, councils and other local government bodies, universities and colleges, and the police.
You can find out more about the Scottish public authorities who are subject to FOISA on the Who can I ask? page of the "Your Rights" section and you can see when their current scheme are due to expire by viewing the Commissioner's timetable for publication scheme renewal.
If you have any questions about whether the single model scheme is suitable for you, or would like further advice about publication schemes, please contact the Commissioner's Policy and Information Team
The Commissioner's guidance on the Model Publication Scheme 2013 is essential reading for any authority which is considering adopting the model scheme. It provides advice about key concepts, formats, copyright, charging and populating the classes of information in the authority's guide to information.
Model Publication Scheme 2013 Guidance (PDF - 127kB)
Once you have created your guide to information, you can use our self-assessment checklist to review it. The criteria in the checklist is similar to that used by the Commissioner's team when monitoring guides to information. The checklist is also a useful took to help you identify and fill any gaps, when reviewing your guide from time to time.
Authorities adopting the Model Publication Scheme 2013 must notify the Commissioner that they have done so. A notification form is provided here for that purpose.
Model Publication Scheme 2013 Notification Form (Word - 52Kb)
Authorities adopting the model scheme need to:
Authorities which adopt "bespoke" schemes have to complete all of the above steps. Step 9, however, is replaced by the process of submitting a scheme to the Commissioner for approval. Read more about bespoke publication schemes.
The format of an authority's guide to information is a matter for the authority to decide. A template guide to information has been produced by the Commissioner to assist authorities who would like to follow the layout of the model scheme.
Model Publication Scheme 2013 Template Guide to Information (Word - 141Kb)
The Model Publication Scheme 2013 was launched at an event for public authorities on 18 October 2012. Our presentations from the event are available below (please note: this is a very large file).