Freedom of Information ('FoI')

Freedom of Information ('FoI')

What is FoI?
How do I recognise a FoI request?
What should I do with a FoI request?
Further reading
Who can help me with FoI at the University of Glasgow?

What is FoI?

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is legislation that grants the public a right to request access to information from the University.  You have 20 days to respond to an 'FoI' request.

Another relevant piece of legislation is the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 ('EISR').   The 20 working days' response time for EISR can be extended to 40 days for complex requests involving a large volume of material.

These regulations include a number of exemptions which allow information to be withheld where appropriate. However, you could be required to release information about your teaching and research based on FoI and EISR requests. 

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How do I recognise a FoI request?

A FoI request simply has to be in a permanently recorded format, give the name of the requester and an address for correspondence, and specify the information requested. It does not have to mention Freedom of Information.

'Permanently recorded format' can mean hard copy, email, or even an audio or video recording.  EISR requests can be made verbally, and also don’t have to mention the regulations.  

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What should I do with a FoI request?

We only have 20 working days to respond, so don’t delay!

FoI requests can be complex and exemptions can only be applied under certain circumstances.

Contact your local FoI co-ordinator or the DP & FoI Office for advice if you receive an FoI request.

The DP & FoI Office offers a lot of guidance on handling information requests and provides a number of standard templates for response.

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Further reading

University of Glasgow Freedom of Information policy [WEB, c. 1 page]
The University’s FoI policy.

JISC FoI and research data: researchers’ questions and answers  [WEB, c. 20 pages]
FAQs on how researchers should respond if faced with FoI or EIR/EISR requests.

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Who can help me with FoI at the University of Glasgow?

The University has a number of FoI co-ordinators who are local contacts for these issues.

For general Freedom of Information and Environmental Information enquiries, please contact:

E-mail: foi@gla.ac.uk

Tel: 0141 330 2523

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