The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOI) came into effect on 1 January 2005, and aims to increase openness and accountability by ensuring people can access information held by Scottish public authorities – including, JBG.
People have the right to access all types of recorded information and, apart from certain specific exemptions, authorities and their staff must comply with these requests.
Every type of recorded information JBG holds is covered by the Act, including old records, archives, minutes and business papers. FOI is retrospective, meaning people can ask for information relating to issues from years ago. Enquirers do not have to give a reason for asking for the information.
Are there any exceptions to providing information?
Yes, there are some. If, for example: giving the information would cause a breach of confidence to a third party; if it divulged personal information on an individual; or if the information was commercially sensitive. JBG can give advice on exemptions, which are detailed in the Act. Additional detailed guidance is available from the website of the Scottish Information Commissioner (contact details below).
How much does it cost? Regulations made by the Scottish Ministers govern the scale of fees which can be applied for providing information. Costs for providing published materials are set out in JBG’s Publication Scheme.
JBG has discretion in applying fees. You will be advised of any costs applicable and will be required to pay costs before the information is provided.
Different fees apply to requests for information governed by the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations. We will advise you if we think these regulations apply to your request and advise you of the level of any fee.
What is an FOI request? Any individual or organisation can make a request for information JBG holds, and will be entitled to receive it, provided JBG holds the information (or someone else holds it on our behalf), provided no exemptions apply, and provided that locating and supplying the information would not exceed the maximum amount allowed by the Fees Regulations.
In order to be valid, requests must:
• be in writing or some other permanent form (e.g. e-mail)
• state the applicant’s name and address; and
• describe what information is required.
You can make an FOI request in the following ways:
• E-mail enquiries/requests to: FOI@JBG.org.uk
• Contact us by post:
Jobs & Business Glasgow
Customer Care Team
Ladywell Business Centre
94 Duke Street
Finding Information in Other Ways
You may find the information you are looking for on our website.
The Act places an obligation on all Scottish public authorities to adopt and maintain a ‘Publication Scheme’ and you may be able to find the information that you are looking for in the Publication Scheme.
How your FOI request will be handled
Your request will be dealt with promptly and, usually, within 20 working days. There is no need to cite the Act or explain why information is being asked for. However, giving as much detail as you can may help us respond more fully to your request.
There’s no obligation for JBG to comply with an information request if:
• an exemption applies;
• if the cost of doing so would exceed the amount set by the fees regulations; or
• if the information is not held by the JBG.
In these instances, you will be notified why JBG cannot comply with your request (or cannot comply with it in full).
What happens if information is not provided?
If you are dissatisfied with the way your request is dealt with, you can ask for a formal review by JBG (these are handled by the Chief Executive) and, thereafter, appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.
The Commissioner is a fully independent public official, with a range of powers under the Act to ensure compliance, and can be contacted at:
Scottish Information Commissioner
Tel 01334 464610.