Freedom of information
Freedom of Information (FOI)
Freedom of Information (FOI) is about improving citizens' access to information about the organisations they deal with every day. FOI will deliver greater openness and transparency throughout the public sector and applies to all Scottish public authorities, including Stirling Council.
What does the FOI Act mean for me?
You can use the FOI Act to request to see potentially any information held by a Scottish public authority.
What exactly does the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 do?
Section 1 of the FOI Act simply states that "a person who requests information from a Scottish public authority which holds it is entitled to be given it by the authority".
The Act gives any person or body resident in or outside the UK the right of access to all types of recorded information of any age held by public authorities. Subject to certain conditions and exemptions, anyone who makes a request to Stirling Council for information will be entitled to receive the information requested.
Who enforces the Act?
The Scottish Parliament has appointed an independent Scottish Information Commissioner to promote and enforce freedom of information in Scotland.
What doesn't the FOI Act do?
The FOI Act does not replace existing access to information legislation. In particular, your right to see what personal data a public authority holds about you is still governed by the Data Protection Act 1998.
The FOI Act does not allow you access to information that would breach any other legislation. For example, you may not get access to personal data about other people if disclosing that information would mean breaching the Data Protection Act 1998.
There are also several exemptions to the information that must be disclosed under the FOI Act.
There is a separate legislation (The Freedom of Information Act 2000) which covers English, Welsh, and UK public authorities, including central government departments. This is enforced by the UK Information Commissioner, not the Scottish Information Commissioner.