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Round-up iconDecisions Round-up: 26 to 29 March 2018

We're back to basics in this week's round-up. Responding to requests on time and being clear on what the requester wants will save authorities time and resources in the long-run.

 

Learning points:

  • Don't be late - respond on time!
    Three of the decisions published this week involve public authorities failing to respond to requests, or requests for review, within the timescales required by the FOI Act. FOI is a statutory right, so it's really important that authorities have systems in place to make sure that requests are responded to on time.
  • Not sure what information the requester wants? Ask them.
    If you're not sure what the requester wants, you've got a duty to get in touch. In Decision 038/2018, the authority acknowledged during the investigation that it had interpreted a request too narrowly. We ordered the authority to contact the requester and to issue a new response. If the authority had spoken to the requester when the request first came in, it might have prevented an appeal to the Commissioner.

 

Decisions issued:

  • Decision 038/2018 Guy Kerry and Highland Council
    Mr Kerry asked the Council about road and pedestrian accessat Rua Reidh Lighthouse, Gairloch. We decided that the Council had interpreted the request too narrowly resulting in a failure to locate all of the information covered by the request. We required the Council to help Mr Kerry clarify what information he wanted and, once that had been done, to issue a new response.
  • Decision 039/2018 Elliot Roy and the Scottish Ministers
    Mr Roy asked the Ministers about attendance at specific dinners, including the Scottish Business Awards. The Ministers failed to respond to the request, or request for review, within the timescales set down by the FOI Act.
  • Decision 040/2018 Dr Robbie Coull and the Scottish Ambulance Service Board (the Board)
    The Board was asked about British Association for Immediate Care doctors responding to incidents at the request of the Board. The Board failed to respond to the request, or request for review, within the timescales set down by the FOI Act.
  • Decision 041/2018 Mr Y and the Scottish Ministers
    The Ministers were asked for about a claim made by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice. The Ministers failed to respond to the request, or request for review, within the timescales set down by the FOI Act.

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