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Freedom of Information

How to use Freedom of Information Requests


Everyone has the legal right to request information held by Scottish public bodies on any subject they choose.  This can be very useful if you are trying to find out more information about the issue you are campaigning on.


Who does this apply to?


You can make a Freedom of Information request from the following public bodies:

  • government departments and local assemblies
  • local authorities and councils
  • health trusts, hospitals and doctors’ surgeries
  • schools, colleges and universities
  • publicly funded museums
  • the police
  • non-departmental public bodies, committees and advisory bodies
How do I make a Freedom of Information request?

To make a request you should write or email the public body and include:

  • Your name
  • An address where you can be contacted
  • A description of the information you want


It is important to remember that public bodies have a duty to advise you about making a request and to help you make such a request. 


To make sure you get the information you are looking for, provide the public body with as much information as you can. 


How long does it take


Public bodies should respond within 20 days.  If they need more time they will contact you and let you know when you will receive a response.


What does it cost?


Most requests are free but you could be asked to pay a small amount toward photocopies and postage.  Public bodies have the right to turn down a request if they think it will cost them more than £450 (£600 for central Government) to find and prepare the information.  


Click here for more information on freedom of information requests.

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