Decision Round-up: 1 to 5 September 2014

 We published five decisions between 1 and 5 September – details, links and learning points below.


        Key messages:

  • Be sure you can support any claim that you don’t hold information
    Decision 184/2014 provides an example of an authority providing adequate explanations and evidence to support its conclusions that it did not hold the information requested.


  • It’s vital to take full account of individual circumstances before deciding a request is vexatious
    As Decision 186/2014 highlights, an authority must be able to clearly demonstrate why it believes a request to be vexatious. In this case the Council was unable to satisfy us that the request lacked serious purpose or value.  

  • Compliance with timescales remains an issue
    We continue to see cases where public authorities fail to respond to requesters within the required statutory timescales.  Authorities must ensure that suitable recording and monitoring systems are set up to help them respond to requests within 20 working days.


    Decisions issued:

  • Decision 183/2014 Mr Brian George and Glasgow City Council
    Mr George asked the Council for information about alleged breaches of Health and Safety legislation. We found that the Council failed to respond to the information request and request for review within the 20 working days allowed for under the Act.


  • Decision 184/2014 Mr Alan Campbell and South Lanarkshire Council
    Mr Campbell asked the Council for the Education Service Brief, submitted to the architects’ who drew up the plans for Biggar Primary School.  Mr Campbell was provided with some information, but not the Project Brief he was looking for.

    Following an investigation, we found that Mr Campbell had been provided with all the information falling within the scope of his request.


  • Decision 185/2014 Mr Michael Roulston and Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary
    Mr Roulston asked Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMICS) for information about the monitoring of all chief officer appointments in relation to a mandatory qualification.  We found that HMICS failed to respond to Mr Roulston’s request for review within 20 working days.


  • Decision 186/2014 Mr and Mrs X and Perth and Kinross Council
    Mr and Mrs X asked the Council about a complaints file.  The Council provided some information, but Mr and Mrs X sought a review, querying the information in the response. The Council carried out a review and substituted its response, by informing Mr and Mrs X that it considered their request to be vexatious. Following an investigation, we did not accept that Mr and Mrs X’s request was vexatious and we required the Council to respond to them accordingly.


  • Decision 187/2014 Mr Paul Hutcheon and Historic Scotland
    Mr Hutcheon asked the Ministers for a breakdown of spending on Bute House.  We found that the Ministers failed to respond to Mr Hutcheon’s information request and request for review within 20 working days.

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