Information intended for future publication

Guidance on the use of FOISA section 27

Section 27 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) contains two distinct exemptions:

  1. The exemption in section 27(1) allows public authorities to refuse to disclose information if they already plan to publish it within the next 12 weeks, but only if it is reasonable to delay disclosing the information until the planned date of publication.
  2. The exemption in section 27(2) is aimed at universities and higher education colleges. It allows them to refuse to disclose information obtained in, or derived from, a "programme of research", provided they are planning to publish the research. The exemption can only be applied if disclosure would cause substantial prejudice.

Both of the exemptions are subject to the public interest test. This means that, even if the exemption applies, the information must be disclosed unless the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.

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Section 27 exemption briefing

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