Freedom Of Information
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 came into force on the 1 January 2005 and gives everyone a legal right to request information held by a Scottish Public Authority. The act aims to increase openness and accountability across the public sector by ensuring that individuals have the right to access information held by Scottish Public Authorities. People are able to see and question how public bodies function and how decisions are made.
Making an information request
Anyone has the right to ask the Council for any information it holds and, subject to certain conditions and exemptions, receive a copy of this.
To submit a Freedom of Information request you must simply write to the Council describing the information you would like. Your request should be made in a permanent format, such as a letter, fax or email, and include the following information:
- Your name (we are unable to accept a request without this)
- A contact address, email or telephone number to which information can be sent
- Details of the information you are seeking
Send your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will respond to your enquiry within 20 working days of receiving your request.
Requests for information about the environment, earth, air, water, living organisms or any force or activity that could affect the environment or human health must be dealt with under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
As with the Freedom of Information legislation the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 demand that a request for information is responded to within 20 working days, however, additional time can be obtained if the request is particularly complex or sizable.
You can make a request for Environmental Information verbally. However, the Council may write to you in order to ensure that we have understood correctly the terms of your request.
Freedom of Information Policy
To ensure that East Dunbartonshire Council complies with the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 a Freedom of Information Policy has been published. This gives information on the Act, East Dunbartonshire’s commitment to the legislation and the responsibilities it places on us. Available within the documents section on this page.
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Act) requires Scottish Public Authorities to produce and maintain a Publication Scheme. The Scheme and accompanying Guide lists all the classes of information that the Council makes available through publication. The majority of information included in the scheme is published within the documents section of this page although some publications are only available in hard copy.
The scheme states:
- where the information is available
- how it is made available
- any charges that may be applicable
It also provides general information about the Council, your rights under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act and contact information.
The information identified in the Council’s Publication Scheme can be obtained without the need to submit a Freedom of Information enquiry.
Requests for Personal Information
The Freedom of Information legislation does not normally allow for personal details about individuals to be released. For example, we cannot give you access to other peoples' housing records or an individual’s employee records.
The Data Protection Act 1998 however does give individuals the right to access personal data held about them by the Council. For further information on how to exercise this right see the Data Protection page.
Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
In Scotland the Freedom of Information legislation is regulated by the Scottish Information Commissioner. Their website provides information on using the Act, their role in regulating the legislation and also the review decisions issued by the Commissioner where individuals have been dissatisfied with the way in which public authorities have dealt with requests.