The Scottish Information Commissioner - It's Public Knowledge
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Pencil IconValid appeals

A valid appeal is one where you have been all the way through the authority's review procedure; where you provide the Commissioner with the information needed to investigate your complaint; and where you have told the Commissioner what you are unhappy with. You are most likely to make a valid appeal if you use the Commissioner's Appeal Portal.

Ask yourself all of the questions below to check if your appeal is valid.

 

Scottish Public Authorities

The Commissioner can only investigate appeals about Scottish Public Authorities that are subject to the FOI Act or the EIRs. There are also some limited circumstances where the Commissioner does not have the power to investigate.

You must be able to answer YES to these questions.

  Find out more: 
Is the organisation a Scottish Public Authority subject to the FOI Act or the EIRs? Who can I ask? 
Is the organisation one that the Commissioner can investigate?  When we can't investigate

 

The need to ask for a review

The Commissioner cannot take action until you have asked the authority to review its decision and allowed 20 working days for it to reply.

You must be able to answer YES to this question.

  Find out more:
 Did you ask the authority to review its decision? Asking for a review

 

Timescales

The FOI Act and the EIRs set timescales about when you can request a review and when you can make your appeal.

For example, the Commissioner cannot take action until you have asked the authority to review its decision and allowed 20 working days for it to reply. If the authority replies before the 20 working days are up, you can go straight to the Commissioner. When calculating working days, remember to allow time for posting.

You must be able to answer NO to these questions.

   Find out more:
 Was your request for a review made too early or too late? Asking for a review
 Are you too early making your appeal? Making an appeal to the Commissioner
 Is your appeal late?

 

What needs to be in my initial request?

You must be able to answer YES to these questions.

 
  Find out more: 
Did you make the request in writing? (This is not a requirement for EIRs requests)  How do I ask?
Does the request describe the information that's requested?
Have you put your name in the body of the request? 
Have you given an address for correspondence in the request?

 

What needs to be in my request for a review?

You must be able to answer YES to these questions.

  Find out more: 
Did you make the request for a review in writing?   Asking for a review
Does the request for review say why you are unhappy?
Does the request for a review say which request your review is about?
Have you put your name in the body of the request for a review?
 Have you given an address for correspondence in the request for a review?

 

What needs to be in my appeal?

The best way to make sure your appeal is valid is to use the Commissioner's Appeal Portal. You don't need to use the Portal, but if you do it will make sure that you provide all of the information that the Commissioner needs to investigate your case quickly.

You must be able to answer YES to these questions.

  Find out more: 
Is the appeal made in writing or using the Appeal Portal?   Making an appeal to the Commissioner
Does the appeal say which request your appeal is about?
Does the appeal say why you are unhappy with the response to the review?
Have you used your real name?
Have you provided the Commissioner with an address for correspondence?

 

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