FOI policy

Secretariat

Registers of Scotland
Departmental security group
Policies and procedures

Department

Secretariat

Topic

Freedom of information (FOI)

Number

SEC01

Amended

Secretariat

What is the freedom of information (FOI) policy?

To comply with the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 ("the Act") by responding to information requests timeously and helpfully.

Why do we have the freedom of information policy?

To ensure compliance with the statutory obligations imposed by the Act upon the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland.

The Act states that "A person who requests information from a Scottish public authority which holds it is entitled to be given it by the authority."

Requests for information held by RoS must be responded to within strict timescales and according to other legislative requirements.

How do we comply with the freedom of information policy?

Every member of staff should understand how to identify FOI requests. NB: An FOI request usually relates to information which is not already publicly available (e.g. in our registers or publications).

Everyone must be aware of the procedures detailed in how FOI requests are logged and processed. 

There is a strict timescale of 20 working days for answering FOI requests so action must be taken immediately.

Registers of Scotland secretariat are responsible for overall coordination and processing of FOI requests. Staff in other business areas may be asked to supply the appropriate information required to answer requests and are expected to cooperate to enable responses to be given within the statutory timescales.

The FOI compliance officer and FOI review officer have overall responsibility for FOI and enforcing compliance with the Act.

What happens if the freedom of information policy is not followed?

If a person requesting information believes that RoS has not complied with its statutory obligations then they have a right of appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner. The commissioner may criticise RoS for non-compliance with technical requirements of the act e.g. missing timescales for responses.

Anyone who does not comply with this policy may be subject to RoS disciplinary policy.