What is freedom of information (FOI) ?
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) gives people the right to access information held by Scottish public authorities. The aim of the Act is to increase openness and transparency by giving people access to recorded information. Information can only be withheld where the Act permits it.
Environmental Information - Alongside FOISA, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs) provide a separate right of access to environmental information that we hold. See the section below for more information about the EIRs.
Publication Scheme - Section 23 of FOISA requires Scottish public authorities to maintain a publication scheme. A publication scheme sets out the types of information that a public authority routinely makes available, and it is possible to access a lot of this information directly from the scheme (instead of having to send in a request for it). See the publication scheme page for more detail.
How can I get information?
In the first instance, we would advise you to check if the information is available from our publication scheme - the guide to information lists information you can access, and provides links to where you can find it.
If the information you need is not available from the publication scheme, you can request it from us by any of the following methods:
Online - use our FOI request online form
E-mail - send us an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post - postal address: FOI Section, Argyll and Bute Council, Governance and Law, Kilmory, Lochgilphead, Argyll, PA31 8RT
What will I receive?
Timescales - FOISA requires information to be provided within 20 working days. We will try to provide information earlier than 20 days when possible.
Type of information - You can ask for any kind of recorded information - this includes information recorded by the Council on paper, electronically, and other methods.
Data Protection - Subject Access Requests
During it's everyday activities, the Council collects and uses personal information. To ensure this information is processed and handled correctly, the Council must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
The Act gives you the right to find out what information the Council holds about you - this is known as a "subject access request". To request this information from us, we would ask you to fill out the subject access request form, and send this, along with payment of £10 to:
Governance Unit, Argyll and Bute Council, Governance and Law, Kilmory, Lochgilphead, Argyll, PA31 8RT
More information can be found on the Information Commissioner's Office website
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act does not apply to environmental information, but the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations) give you very similar rights. "Environmental information" covers a broad range of topics, such as:
- the environment itself, including air, water, earth and the habitats of animals and plants
- things that affect the environment, such as emissions, radiation, noise and pollution
- policies, plans and laws on the environment.
See "Definition of Environmental Information" for more detailed guidance on what might be classed as environmental information.
You can request this information from us using any of the methods mentioned above.