Access to Information

Freedom of Information Requests

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 gives everyone a right of access to information held by Scottish Public Authorities.  Abertay has been designated as a Scottish Public Authority.  The aim of the Act is to increase openness and transparency by allowing people to access information about how decisions are taken and how public services are delivered.  Abertay’s policy is here.  The Scottish Information Commissioner has produced this short video guide.

Abertay has adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2018 produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner.  Our Guide to Information available through the Publication Scheme is available here.  You can submit a request to us for information which is not available in the Guide here, marking your request for the attention of the Corporate Services Director.  We may charge for this information based on the following calculations:

  • There will be no charge for information requests which cost us £100 or less to process
  • Where information costs between £100 and £600 to provide you may be asked to pay 10% of the cost. That is, if you were to ask for information that cost us £600 to provide, you would be asked to pay £50 calculated on the basis of a waiver for the first £100 and 10% of the remaining £500
  • We are not obliged to respond to requests which will cost us over £600 to process
  • In calculating any fee, staff time will be calculated at actual cost per staff member hourly salary rate to a maximum of £15 per person per hour
  • We do not charge for the time to determine whether we hold the information requested, nor for the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released. Charges may be made for locating, retrieving and providing information to you
  • In the event that we decide to impose a charge we will issue you with notification of the charge (a fees notice) and how it has been calculated.  You will have three months from the date of issue of the fees notice in which to decide whether to pay the charge.  The information will be provided to you on payment of the charge.  If you decide not to proceed with the request there will be no charge to you.

Under the Freedom of Information legislation, information may be withheld if there is a good reason for doing so.  If we withhold information, we will let you know why.  If you are unhappy with our decision, or with the way we have dealt with your request, you can ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to investigate.


Environmental Requests

Abertay has the right to charge a reasonable fee towards the costs of responding to requests under the Environmental Information Regulations.

What we will not charge for:

  • Employee time spent determining whether information is actually held.
  • Employee time spent determining if information can be disclosed.

What we may charge for:

  • Employee time taken in the location and / or retrieval of the information.
  • Employee time to redact information so that it can be provided in response to a request.
  • Photocopying / Printing.

Charges are calculated on the basis of the actual cost to Abertay of providing the information.

Employee time is charged at the average hourly rate of pay for the grade(s) of the employee responding to the request, up to a maximum of £15 per hour per employee.

Postage is charged at the current Royal Mail cost for Second Class postage.

Charge Waiver
We do not charge for information which takes less than 4 hours to retrieve in order to provide you with a response to your request.

Where information takes us over 4 hours to retrieve, we may ask you to pay the cost up to a maximum of £500.

Notice of Fees
If we intend to make a charge for any requested information, we will contact you as soon as possible.  We will issue you with a Fees Notice which sets out the charge and how it has been calculated.  The notice will tell you how to pay the fee to us.  It will also offer advice and assistance to help you to narrow your request to reduce or avoid charges altogether.

If we do not hear from you within 60 working days of issue of a Fees Notice, we will assume that you have withdrawn your request.


Personal Data

During the course of our activities, we collect and process personal data in relation to tenants, owners and members.  Our Privacy Notice sets out how we do this.  We have a separate Privacy Notice for employees.  This sits in the context of our Privacy and Data Protection Policy and our Data Retention Schedule.

Requests for your own Personal Data
You will not have to pay a fee to access your information.  However, we may charge a reasonable fee, as above, if your request for information is clearly unfounded or excessive.  Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.

Advice and Assistance
Abertay will provide advice and assistance to anyone who would like to request information from us.  Please contact us, marking you request for the attention of the Corporate Services Director.


Access to Information Fees

There is no charge to view information on our website or at our premises.  We may charge for providing information to you, but we will charge you no more than it costs us to do so.  We will always tell you what the cost is before providing the information to you.  This information covers requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, and the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

Our charges for providing copies for information available on our website are:

Black and White A4 paper 10p per sheet
Black and White A3 paper 20p per sheet
Colour A4 paper 20p per sheet
Colour A3 paper 40p per sheet
Computer Disc 50p per disc

Postage is charged at the current Royal Mail cost for Second Class postage.