Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

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Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

This Act covers Scottish public authorities. Also known as FOISA.

The law differs slightly from the UK FOI Act. Main differences:

  • Scottish test for public interest is stated in terms of "substantial prejudice" rather than "prejudice" making it stronger
  • FOISA imposes a stricter time limit in cases where public interest has to be considered - the total time for the request must by within 20 days, including the consideration of the public interest test.
  • FOISA contains explicit mention of disability access rights
  • FOISA lists the duties incumbent on a body which does not have the information requested
  • FOISA provides for an objective test (rather than "the reasonable opinion of a qualified person") to determine if the public interest means information should be withheld.
  • A comprehensive list of all the public authorities covered by FOISA in Schedule I of the Act
  • A separate list of public authorities covered by Section 6 of FOISA (ie wholly owned companies[1]) is also available.

Legislative information



The exemptions are similar to the UK FOI exemptions. There are differences in the numbering system however, so check carefully under which law the public authority has responded.