Ref No.: 11 23
Request Type: FOI
Date Received: 08/11/23
Date Responded: 06/12/23
Category: Risk Register
I would like to request the following information under the Freedom of Information Scotland Act 2002 (FOISA):
- The current Risk Register you hold.
Under FOISA, I am entitled to receive a response in no more than 20 working days, and so I expect to have heard back from you by 7 December 2023.
Thank you for your request for information dated 8 November 2023 which asked for information relating to WICS risk register.
We have handled your request in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). FOISA provides for a right of access to recorded information held by Scottish public authorities.
We consider that the information falling within the scope of the request is exempt from disclosure under Section 30(c) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). This provides for an exemption from disclosure in situations where disclosure would or would be likely to substantially prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.
However, please note that we do publish information relating to our risks, dependencies and controls in our Corporate Plan (pages 9 to 21) which is available here and in our annual report (pages 20 and 21) which is available here.
Our risk register is critical to the successful carrying out of WICS core public functions. We consider that there is a very real risk associated with disclosing further information over and above what is already publicly available. If further detail was made publicly available, individuals may attempt to use this information to cause harm to WICS, significantly impacting WICS operational efficacy, its reputation and the ability to carry out its statutory activities, and thereby substantially prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.
The exemption contained in Section 30(c) of FOISA is a non-absolute exemption. This involves WICS considering the public interest test in Section 2(1)(b) of FOISA and assessing whether in all the circumstances, the public interest is better served by disclosing the information or by maintaining the exemption and withholding the information from disclosure.
We consider that there is a public interest in WICS being transparent and accountable for the management of its business in carrying out its statutory functions. Disclosure of the requested information would inform the public in this regard.
However, at the same time, it would not be in the public interest for information to be disclosed into the public domain, resulting in there being a significant probability of an increased risk of WICS being exposed to unnecessary threat. Should any threat render WICS unable to properly fulfil its statutory functions as a public body, this would not be in the public interest.
We consider that it is not in the public interest for the requested information to be disclosed and are therefore able to rely on the exemption contained in Section 30(c) of FOISA.
How to request a review:
If you are dissatisfied with the way in which we have dealt with your request, you are entitled to request a review of our actions and decisions in relation to this request. Please note that in order for a review to take place, you must:
- Lodge a written “requirement for review” within 40 working days of the date of this response;
- Include your address for correspondence, a description of the original request and the reasons why you are dissatisfied; and
- Address the review request to:
Water Industry Commission for Scotland
The review will be handled by a member of staff who was not involved in the original decision. You will receive notice of the result of your review within 20 working days of us receiving your request for review.
If you remain dissatisfied with the decision that we issue once the review has been completed or if we fail to carry out a review, you are entitled to apply for a decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner and thereafter to the Court of Session on a point of law only. Applications to the Scottish Information Commissioner for Decision must:
- Be in writing or other permanent form;
- Contain your name and address for correspondence;
- Specify the request for information to which the application relates;
- Specify the particulars of your reasons(s) for the application; and
- Specify the particulars of your dissatisfaction of the review outcome.
The Scottish Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Scottish Information Commissioner
Telephone: 01334 464610
You may also make a complaint about how we have handled your request for information in accordance with our Complaints Handling Procedure. Further information is available at: How to complain about the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS).