The Scottish Information Commissioner - It's Public Knowledge
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Information about yourself or other people.

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Organisations designated by Scottish Ministers


Scottish Ministers can bring organisations which appear to "exercise functions of a public nature" under the FOI Act. 


This is done by a statutory order under section 5 of the FOI Act.


Designations might focus on the function the organisation delivers, rather than the organisation as a whole. This means you would have rights to ask for information they hold about the function, but not all information held by the organisation.


You can read more about designation in our 2015 Special Report: FOI 10 Years On: Are the right organisations covered?



Designation orders made


Registered social landlords

A 2019 Order brings registered social landlords (housing associations) and their subsidiaries under FOI law from 11 November 2019.


Read our guidance on the terms of this order.


Private prisons, independent school, etc

 A 2016 Order (SSI 2016 No. 139) designated:

  • Contractors who run privately managed prisons (e.g. HMP Addiwell and HMP Kilmarnock)
  • Providers of secure accommodation
  • Grant-aided schools
  • Independent special schools
  • Scottish Health and Innovations Ltd (SHIL).

The Order came into force on 1 September 2016.



Local authority trusts

An order was laid in 2013 (SSI 2013 No. 278) to designate leisure, sports and cultural trusts created by local authorities (e.g. Edinburgh Leisure, Inverclyde Leisure, Festival City Theatres Trust). These bodies have been subject to FOI law since 1 April 2014.

If you're unsure, ask the body itself if it is covered.  If you're still uncertain, you can contact us for advice. 



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