Availability and formats
The information published through this model scheme should, wherever possible, be available on the authority’s website. There must be an alternative arrangement for people who do not wish to, or who cannot, access the information either online or by inspection at the authority’s premises. An authority may, for example, arrange to send out information in paper copy on request (although there may be a charge for this).
The authority must publish the information it holds that falls within the classes of information below. If a document contains information that is exempt under Scotland’s freedom of information laws (for example sensitive personal data or a trade secret), the authority should remove or redact the information before publication and explain why it has done so.
The authority must publish a copyright statement which explains what can and what cannot, be done with information accessed through this model publication scheme. The statement must be consistent with the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
The Commissioner recommends the use of the Open Government Licence. A link to the licence and an alternative sample copyright statement are available in the accompanying Guidance.
Where the authority does not hold the copyright in information it publishes, this should be made clear.
The authority must publish a charging schedule which explains when there is a charge for publications available through the scheme and how any charge will be calculated. There should be no charge to view information on the authority’s website or at its premises, except where there is a statutory fee, for example, where this is permitted for access to some registers.
The authority may charge for computer discs, photocopying, postage and packing and other costs associated with supplying the information, but the charge must be no more than these elements actually cost the authority. The authority may not pass on any other costs for information in Classes 1 – 7 below. An exception is made for commercial publications (see Class 8 below) where pricing is on a retail basis.
When deciding the charges, authorities should be mindful of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
The authority must give the recipient advance notice of any charges to be applied.
The authority must provide contact details for enquiries about any aspect of the adoption of the model scheme, the authority’s Guide to Information and for requests for copies of the authority’s published information.
The authority is under a duty to provide reasonable advice and assistance to anyone who wants to request information which is not published and the authority’s Guide to Information must provide contact details for this purpose.
The Classes of Information
The authority must publish information that it holds which falls within the following classes. Once published, information should be available for the current and previous two financial years. Where information has been updated or superseded, only the current version need be available (previous versions may be requested from the authority).