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The Public Interest Test - EIRs

About this guidance

Under regulation 5(1) of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs), a Scottish public authority that holds environmental information must make it available when requested to do so.

This duty is not absolute.  In some cases, information is excepted from disclosure.  The exceptions are listed in regulation 10 of the EIRs.  Regulation 11 also covers the situations when personal data can and can’t be disclosed under the EIRs.

All of the exceptions in regulation 10 (and parts of regulation 11) are subject to a public interest test.  This means that, even if an exception applies, the public authority must still disclose the information unless the public interest in making the information available is outweighed by that in maintaining the exception.

This guidance gives advice to public authorities on how to address the public interest test.  It gives examples of the factors they should take into account when deciding where the public interest lies.  Requesters may also find the guidance helpful when a public authority refuses to disclose information under the EIRs. 

Download the guidance below:

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The Public Interest Test EIRs 

 

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