FOI Complaints and Non-Compliance
What sanctions can be applied for non-compliance?
There are a number of measures the Scottish Information Commissioner can invoke to enforce compliance. This includes the serving of enforcement notices and being named in the annual report, which could result in reputational damage to our University. Other sanctions are fines of up to £5,000 and possible imprisonment for contempt of court. It is also a criminal offence to wilfully and knowingly destroy information in relation to a request for information.
What will happen if we go over the 20 days?
If you feel that the request is going to take more than 20 days, please notify the Governance Services team at the earliest opportunity. Let us know the status of the request and when it is likely to be completed. The Scottish Information Commissioner would apply a test of reasonableness if any question was raised about the length of time it took to respond.
If the requestor doesn't receive a response in 20 days, what can they do?
If the requestor does not receive a response within 20 days, they can make a complaint to the University or to the Scottish Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner will be "naming and shaming" public authorities who repeatedly go over the 20 day limit.
What happens if I receive a complaint about how an FOI request has been dealt with?
If you receive a complaint, please notify the Governance Officer (Records Manager) via firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there an appeal process if we withhold information?
If the requestor is not happy with the decision of the University, they can ask us to review our decision. If they are still dissatisfied after we have reviewed our decision they can then (and only then) make an application for determination by the Scottish Information Commissioner. The Commissioner can then investigate the decision and determine whether the requestor should receive the information requested in full or in part. Further details about our review procedures can be found here.
What if the requestor was unhappy and went to the Commissioner who issued an enforcement notice, who would be responsible, me or Edinburgh Napier?
Action would be taken against the University, but if a member of staff was found to be wilfully ignoring a request they may face internal disciplinary procedures