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How we operate: Access to information

We are committed to the principles of openness and transparency in our work and seek to publish - in an accessible form - as much information about our functions, decisions and operations as is reasonably possible.

About Us

All of our publications can be made available in large print or Braille for those with visual disabilities, and can be provided in a variety of languages, including Gaelic. Both of these services are free of charge and are available by contacting the Communications team, tel: 0131 313 6500 or email: communications@sfc.ac.uk.

We welcome correspondence in Gaelic and endeavour to respond in Gaelic, acknowledging receipt within 20 working days.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) and Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EISR) give members of the public a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by Scottish public authorities. Two of the main features are a general right to receive information that we hold, subject to certain exemptions.

FOISA requires every Scottish public authority to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme, and publish information in accordance with that scheme.

The SFC Publication Scheme Guide to Information [PDF] explains:

  • What information is published by SFC.
  • The manner in which the information is published.
  • Whether the information is available free of charge and, if not, what charges apply.
  • How to request information that is not covered by the Scheme.

We are committed to publishing as much information as possible as part of our Publication Scheme.

If you cannot find the information you require or a document has an exemption you should send a written request to:

Information Management and Governance Officer
Scottish Funding Council
Apex 2, 97 Haymarket Terrace
Edinburgh
EH12 5HD

Tel: 0131 313 6566
Email: info@sfc.ac.uk

We will reply to your information request as soon as possible and no later than 20 working days.

When making a request you must include the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence. An email address is sufficient when you are asking for information.

However, if you send your request by email, you must give your name in the body of the email to fulfil the requirement that the name of the applicant is given. Even if your name appears in your email address (e.g. john.smith@email.com) you must add your name to the text of your request, so that it is clear who the email is from.

You must give your real name, as the public authority does not have to answer your request if you have used a false name or pseudonym. The Commissioner will not be able to carry out an investigation if you have used a false name. If you have particular reasons for not wanting to reveal your identity to the public authority, you should ask a friend or family member to make the request for information.

Assistance on making a request

When making a request for information it important that it is clear what information you are asking for. If a request is not clear, we will probably need to ask you to clarify your request which will cause a delay in you receiving the information you are looking for.

Freedom of information provides the right to recorded information rather than answering questions or responding to statements about SFC’s work. It is therefore useful if your request is framed around what information you want to access.

If possible it is also useful if you can break your request down using numbers or bullet points to show where you are requesting more than one piece of information.

More information on how to make a good request is available on the Scottish Information Commissioner’s website.

Data protection

The EU General Data Protection Regulation and UK Data Protection Act 2018 set out rules for processing personal information and applies to all personal data that the Scottish Funding Council holds.

Data protection legislation gives individuals certain rights including access to personal information that SFC holds on them. For more information on your data subject right please see our Privacy Notice.

To exercise your information rights please write to:

Information Management and Governance Officer
Scottish Funding Council
Apex 2, 97 Haymarket Terrace
Edinburgh
EH12 5HD

Tel: 0131 313 6566
Email: info@sfc.ac.uk

You may need to provide adequate proof of identity such as a copy of a utility bill, drivers licence, passport or birth certificate. The standard of identity check will be proportionate to the data you have requested from us.

Please try to be as clear as possible about the information you are seeking. For example, if it is your personal data as an ex-employee then please provide the dates of your employment.

You will receive a response from us within one calendar month. However, exemptions to disclosure may apply in some circumstances. Data protection legislation allows for the one calendar month deadline to be extended by a further two months where the request is particularly complex.

You can find more guidance on accessing your personal data from the UK Information Commissioner's website.

If you require any assistance completing your freedom of information request or data subject rights request or would like to discuss the information we hold with a member of staff, please contact our
Information Management and Governance Officer, tel: 0131 313 6566.

Records Management Plan

The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 requires SFC and other public authorities to prepare and implement a Records Management Plan (RMP). The RMP sets out proper arrangements for the management of records. The plan is agreed with the Keeper of the Records of Scotland and reviewed on a biennial basis.

The SFC Records Management Plan [PDF] was developed in 2014 and is based on the Keeper's published Model Records Plan and relates to records throughout their lifecycle, from creation and acquisition to archive and destruction . 

For more information about the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011, visit the National Records of Scotland website.

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