Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 [FoISA] gives the general right of access to all recorded information that is held by the University. Some information may be exempt from disclosure by the University if it is considered that one of the Act's 17 exemptions applies. However many of these exemptions are not absolute and are subject to a 'public interest test' and a 'harm test'. The Act is intended to promote openness and accountability within all Scottish Public Authorities - including Universities.

The University is committed to a policy of meeting its obligations under FoISA to allow access to University information unless a specific and valid exemption applies. The exemptions that might apply include:

  • Information already publicly available via, for example, the University's Publication Scheme - section 25
  • Information intended, but not yet ready, for publication - section 27
  • Prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs - section 30
  • Commercially sensitive information - section 33
  • Information supplied in confidence - section 36
  • Personal information about a third-party - section 38
  • Legal advice - section 36(1)

All enquiries about access to information held by the University may be made to the relevant department within the University. Alternatively you may contact the Data Protection & Freedom of Information Office via the Requesting Information link to the left.

Any complaints concerning the handling by the University of issues related to FoISA should be immediately reported to the University according to the procedures displayed via the Complaints and Requests for Review link to the left.

The links to the right give access to advice and guidance on specific areas, covering a range of FoISA issues, directly related to the operation of the University. The A to Z Guide provide brief explanations on the terminology, descriptions, procedures, and basic issues relasting to FoISA and other related legislation plus the Data Protection Act 1998.

The Scottish Information Commissioner [SIC] is the regulator of FoISA and is independent of the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Executive, and other Scottish public authorities. The SIC's duties include the promotion of the right of access to official information held by Scottish Public Authorities [SPAs], ensuring SPAs observe the FoISA and EISR requirements, encouraging SPAs to introduce and follow procedures that will help them make their information available, and to carry out investigations when information has not been provided by an SPA upon request.