Governance and finance

The Scottish Information Commissioner is an independent public official, appointed by Her Majesty the Queen on the nomination of the Scottish Parliament. This means that the functions carried out by the Commissioner are not directed or controlled by the Scottish Government or Parliament.

The Commissioner's functions

The Commissioner's functions include investigating appeals and issuing legally enforceable decisions. Applicants and public authorities have a right to appeal the Commissioner's decisions, on a point of law, to the Court of Session. The Commissioner also provides guidance to public authorities on how to meet their legal obligations, and information to the public about their rights.

The Commissioner is answerable for the use of public money which is provided in order to carry out these functions. This section of the website explains how this works, and describes the arrangements that are in place to scrutinise the Commissioner's management of public resources.

The Commissioner's Governance Arrangements (PDF - 132 KB)

The Commissioner's Governance Reporting Arrangements (PDF - 139 KB)

Management of the Commissioner's functions

The Scottish Information Commissioner is a public authority, receiving public funding, and is therefore responsible for the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which those resources are used. Visit the following pages for more information.

  • Relationship between Commissioner and SPCB - The Scottish Information Commissioner is one of several officeholders which the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) provides with an annual budget. Changes to the law have strengthened the powers that the SPCB has to approve or direct some of the Commissioner's activities (but not investigations or decisions).
  • The Advisory Audit Board - As an accountable officer the Commissioner is supported by the AAB. The AAB advises on the arrangements in place for corporate governance, managing risk and auditing financial and management performance.
  • Managing the organisation - The Commissioner and the Senior Management Team (SMT) meet regularly. The SMT is responsible for the development and operation of the functions which support the Commissioner in exercising the duties and responsibilities of the role. Minutes of these meetings are published on this website. There are also office policies and procedures which direct how the office is run.
  • Performance and Quality Framework - The Commissioner is responsible for reporting the quality and performance of the organisation in delivering statutory duties and responsibilities. Quality assurance is the system by which we measure, report on and achieve continuous improvement. Performance management is the system by which we monitor and report performance against organisational outcomes.
  • Financial performance - The Commissioner, as accountable officer, is responsible for signing the accounts, ensuring the regularity of the finances, and that resources are used economically, efficiently and effectively. The Commissioner publishes information on budgets and expenditure, including statements as required under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.
  • Statutory Reporting - Details of statutory reports that the Commissioner is required to prepare and publish.

If you have any queries, contact us on 01334 464610 or email

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