Applications overview

Anyone seeking information from Scottish public authorities can bring an application to the Commissioner if they are unhappy with the way in which an authority has dealt with their request. On receipt of a valid application, the Commissioner will investigate, and has the power to force the release of information if he finds that an authority has acted incorrectly.

Case disposal by stage 2005 – 2009

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
No. of cases No. of cases No. of cases No. of cases No. of cases
Brought forward from previous year: 0 338 299 183 130
New applications: 580 512 482 367 421
Total caseload: 580 850 781 550 551
           
Cases closed without investigation:          
Frivolous or vexatious 1 3 2 0 0
Premature or out of time 5 12 43 17 18
Withdrawn or abandoned 14 51 54 19 11
Settled 0 1 2 0 0
Excluded under s48 6 10 7 10 7
Insufficient detail to investigate 46 61 27 20 11
Body not covered 7 19 11 18 6
No request for review made 18 55 63 34 35
No request to public authority 1 6 4 7 28
Other deficiency 2 2 1 0 1
Sub-Total: 100 220 214 125 117
           
Cases closed during investigation:          
Withdrawn or abandoned 12 42 59 51 59
Settled 26 36 65 65 41
Frivolous or vexatious 0 1 5 2 1
Other 6 5 6 3 2
Sub-Total: 44 84 135 121 103
           
Cases closed with decision:          
For applicant 33 56 62 37 55
For authority 32 104 105 83 57
Partially upheld 33 87 82 54 54
Sub-Total: 98 247 249 174 166
           
Total cases closed: 242 (42%) 551 (65%) 598 (77%) 420 (76%) 386 (70%)
Total cases carried forward to next year: 338 (58%) 299 (35%) 183 (23%) 130 (24%) 165 (30%)

2008 figure restated – one case reopened during 2009
2008 figure restated – one case reopened during 2009
2008 figure restated – two cases reopened during 2009
Twelve applications were deemed invalid in response to an Opinion of the Court of Session
Includes cases under investigation and cases awaiting validation


Application figures – breakdown

Following the high volume of applications to the Commissioner that accompanied the introduction of FOI in 2005, there was a levelling and then a decline in application numbers. This trend was reversed for the first time in 2009, however, with a 15% increase in applications, compared to 2008. This increase in applications is matched by a similar increase in enquiry volumes.

2009 also saw the proportion of applications brought under the EIRs rise significantly on 2008 figures.

Making an application...

Further information on making an application to the Commissioner, and requesting information from public authorities generally, is available from www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights.

For more information on the applications we receive, view our public authority tables.