A number of decisions issued by the Scottish Information Commissioner have highlighted areas where public authorities are failing to comply with the technical aspects of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in responding to information requests.
The following guidance sets out how public authorities should respond to information requests in order to comply with FOISA. It covers what public authorities should do if the information can be released or is to be withheld under an exemption. It also covers what to do if the information is not held by the authority or if the request is considered to be vexatious or repeat.
The references in the notes are to FOISA. However, if there is a different procedure under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs) from under FOISA, this is noted in footnotes to the guidance.
The Commissioner has also prepared a separate flowchart to assist authorities when responding to requests involving environmental information.