Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) provides a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. See our FOISA policy for full details.
1. Publication Scheme
We are required to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme, approved by the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC).
The publication scheme lists:
- the classes of information which OSCR publishes or intends to publish
- the manner in which information within each class is, or is intended to be published
- whether the material is, or is intended to be available free of charge or on payment.
We have adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2012 produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner. You can see this scheme on the Commissioner's website or by contacting us at the address below.
We have produced OSCR's Guide to Information, which:
- allows you to see what information is available (and what is not available) in relation to each class
- states what charges may be applied
- explains how you can find the information easily
- provides contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing the information
- explains how to request information we hold that has not been published.
You can also request a hard copy from our Freedom of Information Officer using the contact details below.
2. Information available elsewhere: Charity Accounts, governing documents and other information
Section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 exempts information which is freely available to the public through channels other than by making a Freedom of Information request to the body in question. You should investigate the following options before seeking the described information under Freedom of Information legislation.
In relation to charities registered in Scotland, section 23 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 states that charities must supply a copy of their governing document and their latest accounts on request to any person. A charity may charge such fee as it thinks fit for complying with such a request, but such a fee must not exceed the cost of supplying the document requested.
Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs) have additional requirements in relation to their trustees register. More information is available in section 5.3.2 of our guidance, SCIOs: A Guide.
Many charities have a website where they publish their information. We have also, since 2016, published the accounts of charities with an income of £25,000 or over and for all SCIOs. These can be found on the charity's entry in the Scottish Charity Register.
Information such as officers (trustees), governing documents (Memorandum and Articles, constitution or Articles of Association) and annual accounts relating to charities which are also limited companies, can be found using a free search on the companies house website.
You should also consult our Guide to Information which details all other information we publish and where to find it.
You may be able to find the information you require much quicker by using the above options than by requesting it by means of an FOI request. If we believe that to be the case, we may refer you back to these options.
3. Making a request for information
Under FOISA you have legal rights to information held by OSCR. These rights apply only to information requests made in writing or another recordable format (verbal requests for environmental information carry similar rights).
When making a request, you should provide a name and address for correspondence and a description of the information you would like to see.
There are certain circumstances when some or all of the information you request may not be released as it is exempt under FOISA. If this is the case we will write to you and explain why.
If you are unhappy with our response you can ask us to review it and if you are still unhappy, you can make an appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.
Access to personal information about yourself
FOISA does not give you a right to personal information about yourself. If you want to request your own personal information held by OSCR this will be treated as a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).
Freedom of Information requests should be sent to:
Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officer
9 Riverside Drive
4. The Scottish Information Commissioner
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is enforced by the Scottish Information Commissioner, and more details about freedom of information law in Scotland can be found on their website.
Contact details for the Scottish Information Commissioner are:
Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC)
Tel: 01334 464610
5. FOI statistics
We publish quarterly statistics on our handling of FOI requests. We have provided these to the Scottish Information Commissioner from 1 April 2013.
You can view our statistics as follows:
6. FOI responses
While we do not publish every FOI response, we do publish responses to significant FOI requests which we believe have a wider public interest.
View these FOI responses.
7. FOI Appeals
View the list of FOI appeal decisions made by the Scottish Information Commissioner in relation to OSCR: