The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, sets out exemptions to that right and places a number of related obligations on public authorities, particularly in relation to Records Management and Publication Schemes.
As of 1 January 2005, people have had the right to make a request for information and be informed whether or not the public authority holds that information and, subject to various statutory exemptions, be supplied with that information.
Requests for information can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the following address
FOI Central Processing Unit
Information Management Unit
2 French Street
Individuals also have the right under the Data Protection Act 1998, to apply for information relating to them. Details about making an application to Police Scotland for personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998 are available within the Data Protection page of the website.
Access to information about the environment can be requested under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, which has similar provisions to that of FOI.
Any requests for environmental information will be dealt with under these regulations and can be submitted in the same way as a FOI request.
The definition of environmental information is very broad, and includes the state of the elements, the state of human health and safety, measures and activities affecting or likely to affect,the state of elements of the environment, any factors such as substances, energy, noise radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases, reports on the implementation of environmental legislation and cost benefit and other economic analysis used in environmental decision making.
Public authorities are also required to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme setting out the classes of information available and the manner in which they intend to publish the information, and whether a charge will be made for the information. The purpose of a Publication Scheme is to ensure information is available, without the need for a specific request. Schemes are intended to encourage organisations to publish more information pro-actively and to develop a greater culture of openness.
Police Scotland has adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2013. A copy of the Scheme can be accessed below.
An authority adopting this model scheme must produce a guide to the information it publishes through the scheme. The Guide to Information can be accessed below.
The Police Scotland is committed to delivering an open and transparent service whenever possible and it is our intention to include within our Publication Scheme information which we believe would be of interest to the public. It must be remembered that Police Scotland is committed to protecting the communities we serve and to preventing and detecting crime and, it must be recognised that certain information should not be disclosed. Information concerning ongoing investigations, investigative methods, intelligence and the use of related operational techniques must be protected. They are central to the maintenance of a safe and just society. In this respect PSoS will apply a reasonable consideration to the use of appropriate exemptions afforded under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
The Scottish Information Commissioner
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is enforced by the Scottish Information Commissioner. Enquirers should note the Scottish Information Commissioner's remit is limited to Scottish public authorities as defined by Section 3 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Enquiries relating to bodies covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and enquiries under the Data Protection Act 1998, should be directed to the Information Commissioner.
The Office of The Scottish Information Commissioner
Tel: 01334 464610