Freedom of Information
Making a Freedom of Information (FOI) request
In line with the Freedom of Information (Scotland ) Act 2002, public authorities in Scotland must provide recorded information they hold to a requester unless the requested information is covered by a freedom of information exemption.
Environmental Information Requests (EIRs) apply a similar system to environmental information held by an organisation.
Information provided by organisations in reply to requests under FOI(S)A and EIRs is regulated by the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC)
Find the legislation here:
What information you can ask for
You can use FOI rights to ask for a wide range of information held by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, including:
- policies and processes
- finance and expenses
- organisational information and staffing
- the work of parliamentary Committees
- engagement and events
FOI(S)A does not apply to environmental information but the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2002 gives you very similar rights.
You can use EIRs to ask for:
- environmental information and statistics
- environmental policies and best practice
- carbon footprint information
- information about our grounds and environment at Holyrood
Information we need from you
When you send us an FOI or EIR request, you must include:
- a clear description of the information you need
- your name and contact details (we might need to contact you if we need more information and to reply, and we're unable to respond to anonymous requests)
- your preferred format of information (for example email, hard copy, a spreadsheet)
- the number of your requests, if there's more than one
You don’t need to mention FOI when making your request but it’s helpful if you do.
What to expect when you request information
When you make an FOI request, or an EIR request, we will provide:
- an acknowledgement of your request
- guidance and assistance with making your request
- a request for clarification if what you’ve asked for is unclear
- an individual and understandable reply
- a reply within the statutory deadline
- the information you’ve requested
- a clear explanation of the reasons why some or all of the requested information has not been provided
- information about your right to ask for an FOI review
- information about your right to ask for an FOI appeal
Timescales for our response
We must reply within 20 working days from the day after your request is made.
If we’re unsure what information you require, we’ll ask you to clarify your request. When this happens the time for replying to the request will begin once we receive your response.
For EIR requests additional time may be required for reply in certain circumstances.
Making your request
Make an FOI request
To make your request, complete an online request form
Other ways to get in touch
Write to us
Email: [email protected]
The Information Management and Governance Team
The Scottish Parliament
You can contact us using:
British Sign Language (BSL) through the BSL video relay service on the contactSCOTLAND-BSL website
Text relay: 18001 0131 348 6852 (for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing)
We’re happy to translate. Email us in any language: [email protected]
If you're unhappy with our reply
You can ask us to consider our reply again by asking for a review of your freedom of information (FOI) or environmental information request (EIR).
You can do this by replying to our email or letter or by using the same contact details as when you made your request.
What to expect
- acknowledge your request for a review
- ask for more information if your request for a review is unclear
- provide guidance about making a request for review
- reply within the statutory deadline
- consider your request again and explain the outcome clearly
- explain the reasons why some or all of the information is being provided now
- explain the reasons why some or all of the information is not being provided
Making an FOI Appeal
You can make an appeal to the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC) to ask them to decide if we handled your request correctly.
How did we do?
We welcome feedback on how we’ve handled your request. Contact us at [email protected] if you have comments or feedback on how we’ve handled your request.
FOI Publication Scheme and FOI Disclosure Log
Both of these routes provide quick and easy access to information already available for you to use. Both give ways of finding information about the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB).
We’re currently revising our publication scheme after the recent switch to the new website. The Scottish Information Commissioner's website includes a Model Publication Scheme, which we will follow.
Our Guide to information
We're working on a new guide to match our new website and this will be ready soon.
Our FOI Disclosure Log shows replies to previous FOI and EIR requests. These are published in an anonymised way.
We publish information about the number of FOI and EIR requests we receive.
FOI requests per year (last updated 25 March 2021)
- 2021 - 134 requests
- 2020 – 141 requests
- 2019 - 158 requests
- 2018 - 163 requests
- 2017 - 182 requests
Please contact [email protected] if you would like a monthly breakdown of requests.