Cases closed without decision
A helping hand...
The number of cases closed without investigation reduced by 16% compared to 2009 figures. This suggests that there is an increasing awareness among applicants of the FOI appeal process, with fewer applicants making invalid appeals.
Where cases are closed without investigation the applicant will, in most cases, have failed to fulfil the steps that they are required to take before the Commissioner can investigate. In such cases, the Commissioner's staff will provide the applicant with advice and guidance to help them reach the stage where a valid application can be brought.
*Section 48 excludes applications made to the Commissioner concerning the Commissioner himself; a procurator fiscal, or the Lord Advocate (as head of the systems of criminal prosecution and investigation of deaths in Scotland).
Most cases conclude with the Commissioner issuing a formal decision setting out his ruling on a case.
In some circumstances, however, cases will be closed during an investigation, most commonly because the applicant chooses not to go ahead with the case, and either withdraws or abandons it. Often this will be because the public authority has released the information following an application to the Commissioner.
Cases can also be 'settled' – that is, resolved through a more formal negotiation facilitated by the Commissioner's staff. Read more about settled cases here.