FOISA Section 6 - Wholly owned companies

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For UK Central Government, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, see FOIA Section 6

Wholly owned companies - Scotland

  • Companies that are wholly owned by the Scottish Ministers (ie the Scottish Government) or other Scottish public authorities are subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 by virtue of Section 6[1]:
  • 6 Publicly-owned companies
(1) A company is a “publicly-owned company” for the purposes of section 3(1)(b) if it is wholly owned—
(a) by the Scottish Ministers; or
(b) by any other Scottish public authority listed in schedule 1, other than an authority so listed only in relation to information of a specified description.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a company is wholly owned—
(a) by the Scottish Ministers if it has no members except—
(i) the Scottish Ministers or companies wholly owned by the Scottish Ministers; or
(ii) persons acting on behalf of the Scottish Ministers or of such companies; and
(b) by any other Scottish public authority if it has no members except—
(i) the authority or companies wholly owned by the authority; or
(ii) persons acting on behalf of the authority or of such companies.
(3) In subsections (1) and (2), “company” includes any body corporate
  • Links are provided to the authorities on where available

Jointly-owned companies

There seems to be some uncertainty over whether companies jointly owned by several public authorities qualify under this section. A literal reading of the Act suggests not, but it's possible that the provisions of section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 are relevant here. The Scottish Information Commissioner says[2]:

The Scottish public authorities which are subject to the regimes are those which are listed in Schedule 1 of FOISA or designated in an order under section 5(1) of FOISA ... Wholly publicly-owned companies (including those wholly owned by more than one authority) are also covered by the regimes[3]

At least two jointly-owned companies (Lothian Buses plc and Scottish Intellectual Asset Management Limited) consider themselved to be subject to FOISA.

Companies owned by the Scottish Ministers

The Scottish Government is responsible for the following Public Corporations:

Companies owned by other Scottish public authorities

Other wholly-owned companies will be listed here

Local Government

Aberdeen City Council

East Dunbartonshire Council

City of Edinburgh Council

Statement of accounts here

  • Capital Development Trust
  • International Conference Centre Expenditure Trust
  • International Conference Centre Income Trust
  • South East Scotland Regional Transport Partnership (SESTRAN)

Glasgow City Council


Highland Council


North Ayrshire Council

Educational institutions

Edinburgh’s Telford College

University of Edinburgh

Heriot-Watt University

  • Heriot-Watt Trading Ltd

The Robert Gordon University


Highlands and Islands Enterprise

National Museums Scotland

  • National Museums Scotland Enterprises Limited

Scottish Enterprise

SE's accounts for 2009/09 are here.

The following are listed therein as being limited by shares with SE owning 100% of the voting rights:

The following are listed as limited by guarantee and 100% owned by SE:

  • Scottish Stem Cell Network Limited (SC294990)
  • Euro Info Centre Limited (SC132750) [dormant]
  • Traction Test Facility Limited (SC173421) [in liquidation]

The following are listed as limited by guarantee and <100% owned (but may still qualify depending on who owns the rest):

The following are listed as "Local Enterprise Companies", and hence probably wholly-owned:

  • Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire (SC130872)
  • Scottish Enterprise Borders (SC126506)
  • Scottish Enterprise Dumfries and Galloway (SC130811)
  • Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire (SC130793)
  • Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian (SC124701)
  • Scottish Enterprise Fife (SC130830)
  • Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley (SC125232)
  • Scottish Enterprise Glasgow (SC126249)
  • Scottish Enterprise Grampian (SC118134)
  • Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire (SC124620)
  • Scottish Enterprise Renfrewshire (SC130490)
  • Scottish Enterprise Tayside (SC126821)

The following companies are subsidiary companies of the Local Enterprise Companies.

  • Ayrshire Development Fund Limited (SC126942)
  • SEBSED Limited (SC246644)
  • Katalyst Projects (2005) Limited (SC281222)
  • Loch Lomond Shores Management Company Limited (not on the main list) (SC191326)
  • GDA Investments Limited (SC135011)
  • Glasgow Science Centre Charitable Trust (SC172371)
  • Glasgow Science Centre Limited (SC184352)
  • Glasgow Science Centre (Trading) Limited (SC210177)
  • The Glasgow Science Centre Endowment Fund
  • Calder Park (Management) Limited (SC205864)
  • SEF Development Fund Limited (SC194273)
  • Scottish Enterprise Grampian Investments Limited (SC147956)
  • SET Development Fund Limited (SC194695)
  • Tay Euro Fund Limited (SC128863)
  • The Loch Lomond Trust (SC196176) [dormant]

Joint Ventures and Associated Undertakings (only relevant if co-owners are Scottish public authorities):

Scottish Water

  • Scottish Water Horizons Holdings Limited (SC334620) [holding company]
    • Scottish Water Horizons Limited (not on the main list) (SC264806)
  • Scottish Water Business Stream Holdings Limited (SC332622) [holding company]

Companies worth investigating

Companies not covered by the Act

Only ones that look like they might be, obviously. Cross-border companies go in FOIA Section 6.

  • The Grampian Venture Capital Fund Limited (SC103297) [private-sector shareholders]
  • Edinburgh International Conference Centre Limited (SC131773) [some non-voting shares held by a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland] [2016 Annual Return]