The Scottish Information Commissioner - It's Public Knowledge
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Chart IconFOI and EIR Statistics Database

Every 3 months, Scottish Public Authorities submit statistics about the requests for information they have received and how they have responded. The data is uploaded via our statistics portal.

Visit our FOI and EIR Statistics Portal.

What statistics do we collect?

The list below details the range of statistics we collect. this record provides more detail on what data should be submitted under each section (this guidance is also available within the portal).

Excel FileList of quarterly statistics requested by the Commissioner (Excel - 25 kB)

When should authorities submit their statistics?

Submissions are required approximately six weeks after the previous quarter closes, to give authorities time to collect the data and report it to us.  So, for 2019-2020, the dates are:

From  To  Submission required by:
1 October 2019 31 December 2019 7 February 2020
1 January 2020 31 March 2020 8 May 2020
1 April 2020 30 June 2020 7 August 2020
1 July 2020 31 September 2020 6 November 2020

 

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Guidance for Public Authorities

 

Accessing the Portal

Go to https://stats.itspublicknowledge.info or use the link at the top of this page (it's a good idea to save the portal login page our internet favourites/bookmarks). Log in with the unique username and password allocated to you. Usernames begin with 'SIC' followed by between 1 and 4 digits.

Lost or forgotten login details

If you have lost or forgotten your password, you can reset it via the portal log in screen. You will need to know the username and the contact e-mail address in the portal.  If you've lost or forgotten your username or you're having problems logging in contact us for help

Updating contact details

Contact details are stored in the 'Basic Information' tab, which can be updated at any time. It is important to keep these up to date to ensure all correspondence regarding statistics submissions is sent to the correct person/team. Only one email address can be saved for each authority, so please ensure you keep this up to date.

Creating a new submission

Before entering any data you should complete the 'Basic Information' tab. Select the year and quarter you are submitting data for, and the statement which reflects the way in which you record your requests. The  icon provides more information and advice.

Data included in submission

Data submitted should relate to actual activity in the relevant quarter i.e. requests received in that quarter and decisions made in that quarter.  Please note, this means the number of requests received may not be equal to the number of decisions, or responses, sent, as a request and the relevant decision may occur in different quarters.

Entering data

Every box in the Requests, Reviews and Exemptions/Exceptions tabs should be populated - even if the figure is 0. Boxes that are grey cannot and should not be populated. The  icon provides more information and advice.

You can save a draft submission at any time by clicking on 'Save', and then return to it later. Please note, if your submission is saved in draft, it will not have been uploaded and it will be classed as a non-submission. Please ensure you complete and submit your statistics by the deadline.

Completing a submission

Once a full and accurate set of data has been entered and you are ready to submit, you should first save the submission before clicking on 'Submit to Commissioner'. Clicking first on 'Submit to Commissioner', before saving, may result in data being lost.

Once a submission has been completed the data will be publicly available immediately to download via the statistics portal. It is important that you make a full and accurate submission to ensure the statistics that are available for download are correct.

 

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FAQs

 

Why do I need to submit data?

We ask authorities to submit data about their requests to see how FOI is used in Scotland. Authorities should already be recording the data asked for in the portal, in accordance with Section 2 of the Section 60 Code of Practice, and this information should therefore be available under FOI. Asking authorities to submit statistics on a quarterly basis ensure that the data is accurate, complete and easily accessible.

What happens to the data that is submitted?

As soon as you submit the data, it will be publicly available for download on the portal. This open data is for authorities and others to use for benchmarking. The data is also used by the Commissioner to monitor and assess trends in activity and performance.

The Commissioner has the power to assess good FOI practice within an authority, and this data is used when deciding whether an intervention based on non-compliance with FOI law is necessary. See our Interventions page for more information.

Does "Number of requests received under the Data Protection Act" refer to subject access requests?

Yes. We are collecting this data to enable us to see how the number of FOI and EIR requests authorities receive compares to the number of subject access requests they receive.

What happens where an authority's FOI statistics are currently gathered and reported by another authority?

Some small authorities who share their administrative functions with another authority (e.g. some licensing boards and non-Ministerial Officeholders) don't collect their statistics separately at the moment.  If an authority can provide its own data, that is preferable, but if it can't, the authority should let us know which authority will be providing it on their behalf, so we can make a note of this, and ensure its reflected in the reports. As we gain experience of collecting and reporting the statistics, we will work with authorities to explore how we can address issues such as these. 

Who can use the data?

The data stored in the portal is available for anyone to use, including researchers, journalists and the public, as well as public authorities. The portal has a simple report generator, allowing anyone to download a machine-readable (CVS) report. Available statistics date back to 2013, when the portal was first used.

Please be aware that the data is submitted directly by public authorities. It is not checked or verified by the Commissioner and the Commissioner is not responsible for its quality or accuracy. Reports are available for download at any time and will include data entered in the portal at the time of download.

Telephone IconWhere do I go for help?

Contact us on 01334 464610 or email enquiries@itspublicknowledge.info for support.

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