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Glasgow City Council

Making a Freedom of Information Request

Under the freedom of information legislation, Glasgow City Council normally has a statutory obligation to respond to requests for information and requests for review of initial responses within 20 working days.  However, in light of the current impact of the COVID-19 virus, the Scottish Government has put in place the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 which extends this time limit, allowing Scottish public bodies up to 60 working days to respond to both initial and review requests.  There is further provision for an additional 40 working days to be added to response times in certain circumstances.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council has had to prioritise its resources into critical service areas such as public health, cleansing and social work and education.  In line with government guidance, there are also a number of staff working remotely and so capacity and access to our usual computer systems is currently limited.  You can continue to make requests for information to us under the freedom of information legislation (although please note that the freedom of information telephone enquiry line has been temporarily suspended at this time).  We will work on any requests made to us and send our responses to applicants as soon as we can.  We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding in the current circumstances.

You have the right to access all types of recorded information and, apart from certain specific exemptions, authorities and their staff must comply with these requests.

Please note that we already place a large amount of information in public buildings such as libraries. In addition, a considerable amount of information about our services and activities, including our Publication Scheme and Guide to Information, is published on this website.

So, before requesting information, please first visit our website, or your local library, to find out whether the information you are looking for is already available. Doing this could save you time because if the information you require has already been made available to the public in these ways, we would normally refer you back to that source.

What is it?

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOI) came into effect on 1 January 2005, and aims to increase openness and accountability by ensuring people can access information held by Scottish public authorities - including, of course, Glasgow City Council.

Every type of recorded information we hold is covered by the Act, including old records, archives, minutes and business papers. FOI is retrospective, meaning people can ask for information relating to issues from years ago. Enquirers do not have to give a reason for asking for the information.

Any individual or organisation can make a request for information we hold, and will be entitled to receive it, provided we hold the information (or someone else holds it on our behalf), provided no exemptions apply and provided that locating and supplying the information would not exceed the maximum amount allowed by the Fees Regulations.

In order to be valid, requests must:

  • be in writing or some other permanent form (e.g. e-mail or recorded message)
  • state the applicant's full name
  • include an address for correspondence (e.g. postal or email address); and
  • describe what information is required.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes. For example: if giving the information would cause a breach of confidence to a third party; if it divulged personal information on an individual; or if the information was commercially sensitive. We can give advice on exemptions, which are detailed in the Act. Additional detailed guidance is available from the website of the Scottish Information Commissioner.

How much does it cost?

Regulations made by the Scottish Ministers govern the scale of fees which can be applied for providing information. Costs for providing published materials are set out in our Publication Scheme.

We have discretion in applying fees. You will be advised of any costs applicable and will be required to pay costs before the information is provided.

Different fees apply to requests for information governed by the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations. We will advise you if we think these regulations apply to your request and advise you of the level of any fee.

How it will be handled?

Your request will be dealt with promptly and, usually, within 20 working days. There is no need to cite the Act or explain why information is being asked for. However, giving as much detail as you can may help us respond more fully to your request.

There's no obligation for us to comply with an information request if:

  • an exemption applies;
  • if the cost of doing so would exceed the amount set by the fees regulations; or
  • if the information is not held by us.

In these instances, you will be notified why we cannot comply with your request (or cannot comply with it in full).

What happens if information is not provided?

If you are dissatisfied with the way your request is dealt with, you can ask for a formal review and thereafter appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner. The Commissioner is a fully independent public official, with a range of powers under the Act to ensure compliance

Get in touch by post

You can contact us about Freedom of Information queries by writing to the following address:

Glasgow City Council
Freedom of Information
City Chambers
George Square
Glasgow
G2 1DU

Scottish Information Commissioner

The Scottish Information Commissioner can be contacted at the following address:

Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9DS

Or by phone 01334 464610

 

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