Requesting and using the information we hold

WICS is an open, transparent and accountable organisation. As part of this commitment we aim to make as much information as possible, available to the public.

Using our information

If you cannot find the information you are looking for on our website, you can ask us for it under freedom of information (FOI) legislation.

When information is released under FOI legislation, it is disclosed to the public at large. So, before you make an FOI request, you can check our disclosure log to see whether it has already been disclosed in response to a previous request.  If not, we will provide the information you have asked for, unless we do not hold it, or an exemption applies.

You do not need to explain why you want the information, although doing so could help us to better respond to your request.

How to use WICS’s disclosure log

We adhere to the relevant guidance in relation to information disclosure. This states that it is good practice for Scottish public authorities to consider regularly what information is of interest to the public and should therefore be published on a proactive basis.

This includes publishing information that is disclosed in response to freedom of information and environmental information requests through an online disclosure log. The log sits alongside our publication scheme, which we have a legal duty to maintain.

As part of our commitment to being open and transparent, and to provide greater access to our information, we aim to publish all requests for information and our responses. On some occasions, however, parts of a request and/or parts of our response may not be published. This may be, for example, if the request and/or response contain personal data.

All responses that are published on the disclosure log will be dealt with in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Review our disclosure log

How to make a freedom of information request to WICS

We must respond to your request within 20 working days. If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to review it.

We have set out below some things to keep in mind when making your request:

  • Keep your request separate from any correspondence that deals with other issues. This will help us identify your request and respond quickly, separately from any other issues.
  • Keep your request polite, as we can refuse to comply with requests that contain inappropriate or abusive language.
  • Only ask us for information that we hold. If you ask us for an opinion on a matter on which we have not previously expressed an opinion, your request may be refused.
  • If you are experiencing any difficulties in preparing your request, do ask us for advice and assistance.
  • Be as specific as you can (including dates, if possible) when describing the information you are looking for. Wide-ranging and vague requests could delay our response to your request or your request may be refused on cost grounds.
  • To ensure that your request is directed to the right person quickly, you should submit your request to FOI@wics.scot.
  • Provide a telephone number in case we need to contact you about your request.

How to use WICS’s guide to information and publication scheme

In addition to responding to requests for information, we must also publish information proactively. As a public authority we are required by the Freedom of Information Act to have a publication scheme. The scheme should be approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO); we must also publish the information that is covered by the scheme.

The scheme sets out our commitment to make certain classes of information available on a routine basis. This includes policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports and financial information.

The information we release in accordance with the publication scheme represents the minimum we must disclose. If you are looking for something that is not listed in the scheme, please ask us to help.

Read our publication scheme and guide to information

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