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

  • To link to this legislation, try {{asp|2002|13}}.
  • Short title: Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
  • Legislation ID: asp/2002/13



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.