- 8 Feb 2018
Find out how to request information from us.
See our guide to information which sets out what we publish and how it should be made available and includes our six principles of FOI.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act made a number of temporary amendments to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA). This allowed public authorities some additional breathing space when responding to requests under FOISA, in recognition of pressures associated with the coronavirus outbreak. A number of these changes are now reversed by the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act. This includes a reversal of the previous extension to statutory deadlines for responses and reviews, which have now returned to their original 20 working days.
Nevertheless, the Scottish Information Commissioner continues to recognise that the Coronavirus outbreak affects the context in which public authorities – including the Scottish Government – must consider and respond to requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. More information about Covid-19 and FOI is available on the Commissioner’s website.
Publication of FOI responses
We are committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests.
View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Scottish Information Commissioner intervention
In November 2017, the Scottish Information Commissioner announced an intervention to consider how the Scottish Government handles FOI requests.
Our action plan was agreed by the Commissioner in November 2018.
Further information, including correspondence with the Commissioner is also published.
We are implementing the FOI improvement action plan agreed with the Commissioner as part of FOI improvement project.
We publish monthly figures and annual reports on our performance and response times for handling Freedom of Information requests. Previous published annual reports can be accessed at the following links:
- Information request handling: annual report 2018
- Information request handling: annual report 2017
- Information request handling: annual report 2016
Previous FOI reporting information can be found in our archive.
Guidance for public bodies
- FOI/EIR section 60 code of practice - best practice guidance for Scottish public authorities on discharging their functions under the FOI Act and Environmental Information Regulations
- Section 61 code of practice on records management - guidance for public authorities about the keeping, management and destruction of their records
Extension of FOI coverage
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) can be extended to bodies that carry out functions of a public nature or which provide, under a contract with a Scottish public authority, a service which is a function of that authority.
This can be done by making an order under section 5 of FOISA, which designates those bodies as a Scottish public authority for the purposes of the legislation.
- FOI: use of the section 5 power report: November 2017 to October 2019
- FOI: use of the section 5 power: 2017 report
Extension of FOI coverage to registered social landlords
Subject to Parliamentary approval, in November 2019 the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 will be extended to cover registered social landlords and their subsidiaries.
See our final conclusions following the consultation on the draft order under section 5 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
We have published a business regulatory impact assessment (BRIA), an equality impact assessment (EQIA) and a child rights and wellbeing impact assessment (CRWIA) of the planned FOI coverage extension to registered social landlords.
Archived FOI information
If you can't find the information you are looking for check our archive of FOI content.
Freedom of Information Unit
St Andrew's House - 2W