Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 gives everyone a right of access to information held by Scottish public authorities. From 11th November 2019, Registered Social Landlords will be classed as public authorities for the purposes of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) 2002 Act (FOISA).
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.
Public authorities are under a legal obligation to:
- publish the classes of information that the authority makes routinely available
- tell the public how to access the information and whether information is available free of charge or on payment
Alongside the Act, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs) provide a separate right of access to the environmental information that we hold.
Cernach Housing Association proactively publishes a significant amount of information about the Association through official publications and our Annual Report. We provide information to organisations like the Scottish Housing Regulator, The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority which is accessible to the public.
We also publish information about the Association such as our policies and procedures, annual reports and financial information on our website.
For more information, you can visit the Scottish Information Commissioner website.
OVERVIEW VIDEO GUIDE
For a handy overview on Freedom of Information, please watch this short video from the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
Model Publication Scheme
Cernach Housing Association has adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2018, produced and approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner.
The Scheme can also be viewed in Publication Scheme Resources at the Scottish Information Commissioner website.
The scheme set out our commitment to make certain classes of information routinely available, such as policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports and financial information. We have developed a Guide to Information for this purpose and this also contains details of the environmental information that we routinely make available.
If you wish to view personal information Cernach Housing Association may hold on you then please complete and return to us our Data Subject Access Request form
If you have any questions or the Guide to Information in a different format, please contact us at:
Under 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 us to review our decision.
If you do not agree with the outcome of the review, you can ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to investigate.
Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations
The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 provide a right of access to environmental information held by Scottish Public Authorities.
The definition of environmental information is very broad and includes:
- the state of elements of the environment and their interaction (air, water, soil, land and landscape, natural sites, flora and fauna)
- discharges, emissions, noise, radiation, waste measures and activities affecting the environment (e.g. policies, legislation, plans, activities)
- reports on implementation of environmental legislation
- cost benefit and economic analysis
- effects of the environment on conditions of human life (including flood, buildings)
The Regulations are governed by the Scottish Information Commissioner, who is also responsible for the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
Charges (FOISA & EIRS)
In responding to requests for information under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRS), we are entitled to charge a reasonable amount towards making the information available. This includes information which may have been requested under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
The costs for EIRS requests are based on estimated costs of staff time to locate and retrieve information, plus any costs associated with putting the information into a particular format, copying and postage costs.
We do not charge for the time taken to decide if we hold the information requested, or the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released.
Our records support decision making, document activities, provide evidence of policies, decisions and transactions, and underpin our daily work.
To ensure that records are managed properly, we aim to follow the Code of Practice on Records Management which was issued by Scottish Ministers in line with Section 61 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.