The Scottish Information Commissioner - It's Public Knowledge
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Round-up iconDecisions Round-up: 14 to 18 May 2018

Public authorities should publish information where they can: it not only helps to reduce requests, it can build better relations. Research has found that people prefer to get information online and are more likely to trust organisations that publish information about their work.

Remember though, that published information is also subject to FOI, and needs to be considered properly when requests are received - normally by simply telling the requester where to find it.

Learning points:

 

  • Don't overlook information which is publicly available
    In Decision 066/2018, the authority failed to consider some publicly available policy information when it replied to a request. The information was identified during our investigation, but the failure to consider it earlier led to unnecessary delay for the requester, and a decision against the authority.

 

  • Clear up misunderstandings by giving reasonable advice
    In Decision 067/2018, the requester asked for information about individual "roof top tax" payments for a housing development in East Kilbride. The authority stated that it did not hold the information, as no payments had yet been made, but failed to explain that the basis for calculating any future payments would not be entirely as the requester had assumed. Our decision explains in some detail why we considered that the advice provided was, in this case, inadequate.

 

Decisions issued:

 

  • Decision 066/2018 Ms K and the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland
    Police Scotland were asked about vetting procedures when staff are appointed or promoted. They provided some explanation but did not identify any recorded information. After investigation, we found that Police Scotland had failed to identify and disclose all relevant recorded information. As the information was disclosed during our investigation, no further action was required.

 

  • Decision 067/2018 Rebecca Hay and South Lanarkshire Council
    The Council was asked about "roof top tax" payments paid by Taylor Wimpey for a housing development in East Kilbride. The Council stated that it did not hold the information.

    After considering how the request should be interpreted, we accepted this, but found that the Council should have provided more advice and assistance.

 

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