Decisions Round-up: 12 to 16 May 2014

 We published six decisions this week – details, links and learning points below.



Key messages:


  • Make sure you identify all the information you hold, before the case comes to the Commissioner
    We’ve highlighted this before, but it’s important that you take all reasonable steps to identify and locate the information the applicant is looking for, at the earliest opportunity.  In Decisions Decision 097/2014 and Decision 101/2014, information falling within the scope of the requests was still coming to light during the Commissioner’s investigation.  


  • Keep a record of your correspondence with the authority
    As highlighted in Decision Decision 099/2014, it’s important to keep a copy of your request and request for review. This evidence may be important to showing that your request was actually received by the authority


  • Where you can, try to flag up alternative sources of information
    If your authority does not hold the requested information, but you are aware that another authority has it, you should explain this to the requester. The Scottish Police Authority did this in Decision Decision 100/2014.


Decisions issued:


  • Decision 097/2014 Mr Paul Hutcheon and Dundee City Council
    Mr Hutcheon asked for information about payments to individuals working for Dundee Schools Music Theatre.  Some information about Council staff was released during the investigation.  We accepted that the rest of the information should not be provided, because this could not be done without breaching data protection.


  • Decision 098/2014 Mrs P and Stirling Council
    A decision where we found that the Council failed to respond on time to Mrs P’s information request and requirement for review


  • Decision 099/2014 Mr X and the Scottish Prison Service
    In this case the requester complained that the authority had failed to respond to his request for review on time.  Following our investigation, we found that the SPS had not received his request for review...


  • Decision 100/2014 Mr Michael Roulston and the Scottish Police Authority (the SPA)
    Mr Roulston requested information about transitional arrangements for senior police officers, specifically senior officers of the former police forces who had not been appointed to equivalent posts in Police Scotland.  After considering the authority’s arguments carefully, we accepted that they did not hold this information.


  • Decision 101/2014 Mr G and the Scottish Prison Service (the SPS)
    Mr G asked about the SPS’s charging policy for subject access requests under the Data Protection Act.  We found that the SPS failed to give Mr G all the information it held, although it did provide the remaining information during the investigation.


  • Decision 102/2014 Rail Freight Groupand Transport Scotland
    Rail Freight Group (RFG) asked for information about the dualling of the A9.  Transport Scotland provided links to information it believed was relevant, informing RFG that it did not hold other information covered by the request.  We found that Transport Scotland should have dealt with the request under the environmental regulations, and in responding to RFG, made it clearer which elements of the request it held information for and which it did not.

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