New to FOI?

From time to time new bodies are brought under FOI law. When this happens, they become “public authorities” for the purposes of FOI. These pages provide guidance to help new authorities meet their FOI duties. Find out how bodies are brought under FOI.

Designation under FOI law means that authorities must comply with the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations (EIRs) when they receive a request for environmental information, and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act for all other information.

If someone asks an authority to give them their own personal information, this request must be responded to under data protection law, not FOI. Data protection law is overseen and enforced by the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

FOI law – the three duties

FOI law places three main duties on authorities. Meet these duties effectively, and you will meet your FOI responsibilities.

The three duties are:

The duty to publish information – authorities must publish information about their work, services and decision-making.

The duty to respond to requests – authorities must respond to the requests for information they receive.

The duty to advise and assist – authorities must help people who want to access their information.

Click on the links above for more information on each of the three FOI duties.

Other resources

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