This chapter provides an overview of how the Scottish Information Commissioner evaluates the country’s public authorities in terms of dealing with complaints from applicants requesting for information. The Commissioner may assess whether a public authority is following good practice; if not, he may give it a practice recommendation. An authority that fails to comply with the provisions in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), such as not responding on time or failing to inform the applicant of the right of appeal, may be cited in the decision notice, even if the authority is not required to take any action in respect of that specific failure. In such cases, the Commissioner may conduct ‘technical investigations’ and require the authority to remedy the failing by complying with the request for information. The revised Code of Practice includes good practice guidance on both FOISA and the Environmental Information Regulations. This chapter discusses the Commissioner’s programme of practice assessments, or performance audits, of public authorities.
Keywords: public authorities, Scottish Information Commissioner, request for information, good practice, Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, technical investigations, Code of Practice, Environmental Information Regulations, practice assessments, performance audits
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