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Gaidhlig

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.

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.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOI) gives 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 of the Act are a general right to receive information that we hold, subject to certain exemptions; and, in cases where information is exempted from disclosure, there is a duty on the Council to inform the applicant whether we hold the information; and, except where an absolute exemption applies, communicate that information to the applicant unless the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

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

The Scottish Funding Council 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

The Publication Scheme Guide to Information lists information that we are committed to making available. Our aim is to make information available whenever we can legally do so, except where we consider release would cause significant harm. In such cases we will withhold information under an appropriate exemption in the FOI Act.

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

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

Tel: 0131 313 6691
Email: info@sfc.ac.uk

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

The Information Management and Security Officer will reply within 20 working days. There may be an exemption from full disclosure of information in which case you will be offered the option to request a review of the decision. 

The Act says that a request must include the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence. The Commissioner has confirmed that an e-mail 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@hotmail.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 he/she finds out that 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.

Data protection

The Data Protection Act 1998 sets down rules for processing personal information and applies to all records held. The Act works in two ways. It gives the individual certain rights and it also states that those who record and use personal information must follow the eight principles of 'good information handling'. More information about the Act can be found on the UK Information Commissioner's website. See also the SFC Data Protection policy [PDF]

The Data Protection Act 1998 allows you to find out what information about you is being held by the Scottish Funding Council, this is known as a 'subject access request'.

To make a 'subject access request' write directly to:

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

Telephone: 0131 313 6691
Email: info@sfc.ac.uk

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

You will need to provide adequate proof of identity such as a copy of your passport, birth certificate or driving licence before your request will be processed. There may also be a fee of up to £10 depending on the volume of work required.

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. To ensure quicker processing of your request you may wish to print and complete our:

Remember to send us a £10 cheque and proof of identity with the form.

Once we have received your subject access request, the agreed fee and proof of identity, you will receive a response from us within 40 days and you will be able to get copies of any information we hold on you. However, exemptions to disclosure may apply in some circumstances.

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 subject access request or would like to discuss the information we hold with a member of staff, please contact our Freedom of Information Officer, Tel: 0131 313 6691.

Records Management Plan

The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011, came fully into force in January 2013. The Act 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] 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. 

SFC has provided the Keeper with evidence of policies, procedures, guidance and operational activity on all elements of the RMP. The plan was agreed with the Keeper in November 2014.

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

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