The Scottish Information Commissioner - It's Public Knowledge
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Personal Information

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Information about yourself or other people.

access to personal information

Events IconHow long will I have to wait?

When you request information from a Scottish public authority, it must provide it to you, or tell you why it will not provide it, as quickly as possible - and in all cases, within 20 working days.


"Working days" means Monday to Friday - weekends do not count as working days, and nor do bank holidays.


If you have sent your request by letter, you should allow three days for your letter to reach the authority, and three days for the authority's response to reach you.


The first working day of your request is the day after the date on which the authority receives it.  Use the "response calculator" on the right to check when you should expect a response.


If you have asked the Scottish Government for information that's no longer in regular use, it may have been transferred to the Keeper of the Records of Scotland.  If this is the case, you may have to wait up to 30 working days, not 20, for a reply.


For most information requests, the 20 working day limit will apply.


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If the public authority has to ask you for more details to help it identify exactly what you are asking for, the 20 working days will only start after you have given it those details.


If the public authority sends you a letter telling you that you have to pay a fee (a "fees notice") the 20 working day clock stops, until you pay the fee, then it re-starts again.  So if the authority sends you a fees notice after 10 working days, and you decide to pay the fee, the authority has another 10 working days from the day it receives your payment in which to respond.


However, if you believe your request is already clear enough, or you are unhappy with the fee that the authority is asking for, you can ask the authority to review this (see "Asking for a review".

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