The Scottish Information Commissioner - It's Public Knowledge
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Decisions Round-up: 8 to 12 October 2012

Filing cabinet with papers flying out

We published two decisions this week.

 

Key message:

  •  The importance of understanding the scope of a request

Where a request is not entirely clear you can ask the requester for clarification. You should remember that you are also required to provide advice and assistance to people making requests ? and this can be a powerful tool for achieving better understanding about the scope of a request.

Summary of decisions:

Mr N appealed to the Commissioner when his request was refused on the grounds of cost. The Ministers' response to his request for review was also late. In this case we accepted that the search for the information would have involved a trawl of all Scottish Government records and therefore that the cost provision could be applied.

Mr Q had asked for two items of information. The SPS said it would cost too much to respond to the first request and that it did not hold the information for the second. We accepted the outcome for the first request, but discovered that there was a material difference of views between the requester and the authority about the focus of the second request. The SPS recognised that it did, after all, hold some relevant information which it then provided to Mr Q.

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