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Freedom of Information

Freedom Of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

About The Act And The Comhairle’s Responsibilities

The Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002 (FOI) enables any person to obtain information from Scottish public authorities. The Act applies to all Scottish public authorities including: Scottish Executive and its agencies; Scottish Parliament; Local Authorities; NHS Scotland; Universities and further education colleges; and the Police.

Public authorities have to allow access to the following information:

  • the provision, cost and standard of its service
  • factual information or decision-making, and
  • the reasons for decisions made by it.

This legal right of access includes all types of ‘recorded’ information of any date held by Scottish public authorities. From 1st January 2005 any person who makes a request for information must be provided with it, subject to certain conditions.

The Act also places an obligation on all Scottish public authorities to adopt and maintain a ‘Publication Scheme’ and the Comhairle has submitted its own Scheme to the Scottish Information Commissioner describing the classes of information which the Comhairle publishes or intends to publish, how it does so, and any fees associated with these publications. The Scheme was approved by the Commissioner and the Council is obliged to publish information in accordance with the scheme.

The Comhairle is already committed to principles of openness and transparency in its decision making and service delivery functions, and has sought to meet its obligations under the 2002 Act by including as much information as possible within this Publication Scheme.

Please remember that, if the information you require has already been made available to the public in other ways, the Comhairle would normally refer you back to that source.

Important Note – Cyber Incident

The Comhairle is engaging with Police Scotland, Scottish Government and the National Cyber Security Centre following a criminal cyber incident on 7 November 2023.  The Comhairle’s priority following this incident is to restore and secure services so as to ensure their continued delivery to those in our communities who need them most.  Whilst the public’s ongoing right to make FOI requests is recognised, we ask that you be considerate of the additional demands on the Comhairle’s resources to deliver essential services.  If your request is not urgent or necessary, we would be very grateful if you could refrain from making it at present, and instead consider the matter again in 6 months’ time.  The website will be regularly updated as to the progress on recovery from the incident.

 How to make a request

Please email or write to:

 The Freedom of Information Assistant

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Sandwick Road
Isle of Lewis