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How to Access Information

Your right to request information

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) gives you the right to ask us for any recorded information which we have.  The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) give you a similar right to ask us for environmental information.  You do not have to mention this legislation in your request.

Anyone anywhere can make a request for information – there are no restrictions on age, nationality or where you live.
 

How to request information from the Scottish Government

Your request must include:

  • your full name;
  • an address for correspondence – this can be a postal or e-mail address; and
  • a description of the information you want.

You do not need to say why you want the information but, if you do, it may help us to find the particular information you are looking for.  You can also specify how you want the information to be provided, for example electronically or as paper copies.  If possible, please provide a daytime telephone number so that we can contact you if we have any questions about your request.

You can send us your request by:

E-mail to: ceu@gov.scot

Writing to:

General Enquiries
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG.

Help:   If you have any questions about requesting information, or if you need advice on making a request to the Scottish Government, you can write or send an e-mail to the above addresses or phone 0300 244 4000 (Office Hours: 08:30 to 17:00 Monday to Friday). 

You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner’s guidance before you make your request – see links below.

What happens next?:  We first check that we have enough information from you to find what you are looking for.  We may contact you if we need you to clarify your request.  We will then search our records for the information you have requested.  Our aim is to provide information whenever possible.  In any case, you should receive a full response from us promptly and within 20 working days.

Cost:   The Scottish Government does not charge for answering information requests but we may refuse to provide information if the cost of doing so would exceed £600.

Guidance:     The Scottish Information Commissioner has published information on your rights to access information from Scottish public authorities on her website at:

http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/YourRights.aspx

A leaflet Your Right to Know - a guide to FOI in Scotland, setting out your rights in more detail, is also available on the Commissioner’s website at:

http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/WhatAreMyRights.aspx.

Both of these include:

  • Advice and tips on how to make a request;

  • What to do if you’re unhappy with the response to your request;

  • Your right to appeal to the Commissioner.


Personal data

If you are looking for information about yourself, you must make a 'subject access request' under the Data Protection Act 1998, see: How to Request Personal Data.


The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations

If you want to make a request to re-use public sector information, see: Re-use of Public Sector Information.