FoISA - Complaints and Review Procedure

FoISA - Complaints and Review Procedure

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the University has handled your request for information, you have the right to ask the University to review its decision. The procedure that the University will follow upon receipt of a complaint, regarding the handling of a Freedom of Information or Environmental Information request, is described below.

Any other complaints or comments, not related to a specific request for information, should be directed to the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Office.

1. Request for Review

If you are unhappy about the way your request was handled or if you are seeking a review of a decision not to release information to you, submit your request for a review in writing to the Data Protection and FOI Office.

Include your name and an address for correspondence in your request for review. Restate your original request for information,  including when you submitted it, to which part of the organisation you made the request, any reference number associated with the request, and the reason for your dissatisfaction. 

The request for review should be submitted within 40 working days of the date on which you received a response from the University, or the date by which you should have received a response under the terms of the Act (whichever is the later). The University may consider requests for review received beyond this timescale at its discretion but is not bound to do so.

2. Responding to a Request for Review

The University must reply to each request for review within twenty working days of receipt. If it is agreed that the original response was wrong, or the original request was not handled fairly in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 or the Environmental Information [Scotland] Regulations 2004, then you will be given a new response. The new response may include all, some, or possibly none of the information originally requested. If the response is not complete, reasons for exemptions will be provided.

The University is under no obligation to comply with vexatious or repeated requests to which the University has recently responded.

3. The University Review Procedure

The University will acknowledge receipt of your request and will inform the Secretary of Court that a request for review has been received. The Data Protection and Freedom of Information Office will be invited to comment on the original decision reached.

The Secretary of Court may appoint a senior officer of the University, who will not have been involved in the original decision, to consider the request for review as well as the original response that was sent to you. The senior officer, or his/her representative, may contact you to seek clarification regarding the original request or your grounds for a review of the decision.

In instances where the Secretary of Court was involved in any actions or decisions relating to the original request, another senior officer of the University will be appointed to take responsibility for carrying out the review.

The University will reply to you in writing, within 20 working days of receiving your request, to inform you of the review process  and the decision reached.

This review procedure will be kept under review and updated as appropriate.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the review, you may wish to raise an appeal with the Scottish Information Commissioner:

Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St. Andrews
KY16 9DS
tel: 01334 464610

The Scottish Information Commissioner has indicated that she will not carry out an investigation if she finds out that a false name or pseudonym was used in the original request for information to the University.

4. Further Assistance

The University is committed to openness and accessibility and will therefore seek to provide you with assistance in submitting a request for review when requested to do so. Requests for review will be treated in accordance with the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to ensure that no applicant is at a disadvantage under the Review Procedure outlined above. If you need help in requesting a review, you should contact the Data Protection and FOI Office at the above address.

For further information regarding this review procedure, please contact the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Office.