Information about yourself or other people.
You must make your request in writing, or any other form that can be kept for future use, such as email, fax, audio or video tape. If you want your FOI rights to apply, you can't ask verbally (for example by telephone or at an office) - unless you are asking for environmental information.
You can ask anyone, from a receptionist to a senior official. You might prefer to send your request to the authority's address for information requests, where it will be received by staff who are used to responding to such requests. Contact details for individual authorities are available in our "Search for a Scottish public authority" database.
If you ask by email, you must include your name within the body of the email, but you don't have to give your postal address (although it is likely to be helpful if you do).
You can add other contact information such as a telephone number. It can help speed up the response if the authority can get in touch with you quickly to check a point.
You must give your name. If you give a false name, the authority does not have to respond, and the Commissioner and the courts would not be able to enforce your rights.
Make your request as clear as possible. Focus on the information you really want to see – if your request is too broad, it may be refused because of the cost of responding to it.
If you are not sure what information you want, ask the public authority to help you describe what you're looking for. If the authority doesn't have the information you want, it might be able to tell you which other authority could provide it.
If you need the information in a particular format, let the authority know. As far as is reasonable, the authority must provide the information in the format you prefer (for example, a summary, or an audio tape version).
In deciding what is reasonable, the authority must not discriminate against you if you have a disability. If you need the information in a language other than English, the authority doesn't generally have to provide it, but it may decide to translate it for you.
(Please note: if you use our Facebook or twitter buttons to share web content you may receive their cookies - we do not set these).Find out more / disable cookies