FOI and EIR Statistics

Every 3 months, Scottish public authorities send us data about the freedom of information (FOI) and environmental information (EIR) requests they have received, and how they have responded. The data is uploaded to our statistics portal.

Data from our statistics portal can be downloaded by anyone, at any time, to help people better understand how Scotland's FOI laws are being used. 

Click on the link below to start using the portal:

>>> FOI and EIR Statistics Portal >>>

What statistics do we collect?

The list below details the range of statistics we collect and provides more detail on what data should be submitted under each section (this guidance is also available within the portal).

List of quarterly statistics requested by the Commissioner (Excel - 25 KB)

When should authorities submit their statistics?

Submissions are required approximately five-six weeks after the previous quarter closes, to give authorities time to collect the data and report it to us. So, for 2020-2021, the dates are:

From To Submission required by:
1 October 2021 31 December 2021 4 February 2022
1 January 2022 31 March 2022 6 May 2022
1 April 2022 30 June 2022 5 August 2022
1 July 2022 30 September 2022 4 November 2022

Guidance for Public Authorities

Accessing the Portal

Go to or use the link at the top of this page (it's a good idea to save the portal login page in your internet favourites/bookmarks). Log in with the unique username and password allocated to you. Usernames begin with 'SIC' followed by between 1 and 4 digits.

Lost or forgotten login details

If you have lost or forgotten your password, you can reset it via the portal log in screen. You will need to know the username and the contact e-mail address in the portal. If you've lost or forgotten your username or you're having problems logging in, contact us for help.

Updating contact details

Contact details are stored in the "Authority Details" tab - Basic Information section, which can be updated at any time. It is important to keep these up to date to ensure all correspondence regarding statistics submissions is sent to the correct person/team. Only one email address can be saved for each authority, so please ensure you keep this up to date.

Creating a new submission

Click on "Create Submission" then complete the Basic Information section before submitting any data. Select the year and quarter you are submitting data for, and the statement which reflects the way in which you record your requests. The help icon provides more information and advice.

Data included in submission

Data submitted should relate to actual activity in the relevant quarter i.e. requests received in that quarter and decisions made in that quarter. Please note, this means the number of requests received may not be equal to the number of decisions, or responses sent, as a request and the relevant decision may occur in different quarters.

Entering data

Every box in the Requests, Reviews and Exemptions/Exceptions tabs should be populated - even if the figure is 0. Boxes that are grey cannot and should not be populated. The help icon provides more information and advice.

You can save a draft submission at any time by clicking on 'Save', and then return to it later. Please note, if your submission is saved in draft, it will not have been uploaded and it will be classed as a non-submission. Please ensure you complete and submit your statistics by the deadline.

Completing a submission

Once a full and accurate set of data has been entered and you are ready to submit, you should first save the submission before clicking on 'Submit to Commissioner'. Clicking first on 'Submit to Commissioner', before saving, may result in data being lost.

Once a submission has been completed the data will be publicly available immediately to download via the statistics portal. It is important that you make a full and accurate submission to ensure the statistics that are available for download are correct.


Why do I need to submit data?

We ask authorities to submit data about their requests to see how FOI is used in Scotland. Authorities should already be recording the data asked for in the portal, in accordance with Section 2 of the Section 60 Code of Practice, and this information should therefore be available under FOI. Asking authorities to submit statistics on a quarterly basis ensure that the data is accurate, complete and easily accessible.

What happens to the data that is submitted?

As soon as you submit the data, it will be publicly available for download on the portal. This open data is for authorities and others to use for benchmarking. The data is also used by the Commissioner to monitor and assess trends in activity and performance.

The Commissioner has the power to assess good FOI practice within an authority, and this data is used when deciding whether an intervention based on non-compliance with FOI law is necessary. See our Interventions page for more information.

Does "Number of requests received under the Data Protection Act" refer to subject access requests?

Yes. We are collecting this data to enable us to see how the number of FOI and EIR requests authorities receive compares to the number of subject access requests they receive.

What happens where an authority's FOI statistics are currently gathered and reported by another authority?

Some small authorities who share their administrative functions with another authority (e.g. some licensing boards and non-Ministerial Officeholders) don't collect their statistics separately at the moment. If an authority can provide its own data, that is preferable, but if it can't, the authority should let us know which authority will be providing it on their behalf, so we can make a note of this, and ensure its reflected in the reports. As we gain experience of collecting and reporting the statistics, we will work with authorities to explore how we can address issues such as these.

Who can use the data?

The data stored in the portal is available for anyone to use, including researchers, journalists and the public, as well as public authorities. The portal has a simple report generator, allowing anyone to download a machine-readable (CSV) report. Available statistics date back to 2013, when the portal was first used.

Please be aware that the data is submitted directly by public authorities. It is not checked or verified by the Commissioner and the Commissioner is not responsible for its quality or accuracy. Reports are available for download at any time and will include data entered in the portal at the time of download.

Where do I go for help?

If you're having any problems using the statistics portal and you can't find an answer above you can contact us for further advice.

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