Audit Functions

Guidance on the use of FOISA section 40

Information will be exempt from disclosure under section 40 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially a Scottish public authority's functions in relation to:

  • the audit of the accounts of other Scottish public authorities (section 40(a)); or
  • the examination of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which other public authorities use their resources in discharging their functions (section 40(b)).

The exemptions in section 40 are subject to the public interest test in FOISA. This means that, even if one of the exemptions apply, the information must be disclosed unless the public interest in withholding it outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

The exemptions in section 40 don't last forever. In general, they can't be applied to information that is more than 15 years old.

Download the briefing

Section 40 exemption briefing

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