Charging a fee or refusing to comply with a request on excessive costs grounds

Guidance on applying FOISA sections 9, 12 and 13

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) allows Scottish public authorities to charge for responding to information requests in certain circumstances.

Authorities do not have to charge fees. Many authorities choose not to charge for responding to requests even where they are entitled to do so.

There are strict rules on what can and cannot be charged for, how much an authority can charge and an upper limit (currently £600) beyond which an authority does not have to comply with a request. These rules are set out in the Freedom of Information (Fees for Required Disclosure) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the Fees Regulations).

A public authority can, with the agreement of the requester, respond to an information request which costs more than £600 to comply with. There are rules about how much the authority can charge a requester for doing this. These are set out in section 13 of FOISA and in the Freedom of Information (Fees for Disclosure under Section 13) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the Section 13 Regulations).

Download the briefing

Briefing - Fees and Excessive Cost of Compliance

Related information

See also the Commissioner's briefing on Charging for environmental information - EIRs.

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