FOI - You only have to ask...


You have a right to know...

We all have a legal right to see information from Scottish public authorities. When asking for information you have to give your name, but you don't need to say anything more about who you are or why you want the information. Public authorities must provide the information you asked for within 20 working days.

Public authorities can withhold information in some cases. If a public authority does refuse to give information to you, they must tell you why. And you can challenge an authority's decision to keep the information from you. You can ask the authority to review its response - and if you are still unhappy after that, you can appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

How to use this part of the site

The choices in the left hand menu give more information on your rights, and how to use them.

If you would like to see how other people have used freedom of information (FOI), look at the video clips on this page or click on the link below.

On the right, you will find help if you are looking for information about yourself or other people. You can also use our "response calculator" to check the date by which you should receive a response from a Scottish public authority, having asked it for information.

Your Right to Know: a guide to FOI

If you'd prefer, you can read "Your Right to Know", our handy guide to freedom of information in Scotland. This covers everything you need to know, including:

  • how to make a request
  • who is covered
  • what to do if you don't get the information you're looking for.

To download your copy of "Your Right to Know" click on one of the links below.

Your Right To Know - PDF version (2.6MB)

Your Right to Know - Word version (60KB)

Community language versions


Still unsure?

If you can't find the answer to your question here, or are still unsure about any aspect of FOI, contact us for help and advice. Our enquiry line is open from 9am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday - 01334 464610. Or you can email us on



More guidance on FOI Laws