Freedom of Information
FOISA and the EIR’s
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) provides individuals with a right of access to all recorded information held by Scotland’s public authorities. Anyone can use this right, and information can only be withheld where FOISA expressly permits it.
Alongside FOISA, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs) provide a separate right of access to the environmental information that we hold.
Any request for information under FOISA or the EIR’s must be in writing or in another permanent form, such as e-mail, audio or video format. Any person requesting information under FOISA must state their name and address and describe what information they require. In the case of requests for Environmental Information, a request can be made verbally.
The Assessor is obliged to provide anyone who makes a request for information with advice and assistance and all requests have to be answered within 20 working days. We can ask for more details in order to identify the information requested.
Exemptions and Appeals
Our aim is to be as open as possible. However, certain exceptions and exemptions are provided for within FOISA and the EIR’s. For example information may be withheld from disclosure if it is publicly available from another source or where we consider that disclosure may cause real, actual or significant prejudice to law enforcement or where the disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law.
We may also withhold information which may seriously prejudice the commercial interests or confidentiality of any person or organisation. We may also withhold information under the Data Protection Act 1998.
If information is being withheld we will explain the particular exemption that applies and why the information is exempt.
If you wish to complain about the fact that information is being withheld or if you are dissatisfied about the way in which your request was dealt with, you may request a Review of actions and decisions taken, within 40 days of receiving a Refusal Notice.
The request for a Review must be in writing (or alternative recordable format) stating a name and address for correspondence and the reason for the dissatisfaction. Normally the Assessor will carry out a review within 20 days of receipt of the request and will write to inform you of the outcome.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, following the Review of the decision, you can make an application for determination by the Scottish Information Commissioner within six months. The Commissioner can then investigate the decision and determine whether you should receive the information requested in full or in part.
Model Publication Scheme
Section 23 of FOISA requires that all Scottish public authorities adopt and maintain a publication scheme that has the approval of the Scottish Information Commissioner.
Section 24 of FOISA provides for the development of model publication schemes which may be adopted by more than one authority. It is under this provision that the Scottish Information Commissioner’s Model Publication Scheme has been developed.
The Assessor for Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board and Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board have together adopted the Scottish Information Commissioner’s Model Publication Scheme. Our Publication Scheme and Guide to Information was updated and published with effect from 31st October 2017.
The purpose of this scheme is to provide you with details of the range of information that we routinely publish. The scheme also provides details of how you can access this information, and tells you whether it is available free, or if there is a charge for the information.
Where information is not published under this scheme, you can request it from us under FOISA or the EIR’s, please see the relevant section within our Publication Scheme.
Click here to view the Assessor for Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board and the Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board’s Publication Scheme.
Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations
The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 apply to Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board but not the Assessor for Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board. They govern the re-use of information that has been obtained by Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board and will apply where an applicant has been provided with information and wants to re-use that information for a purpose other than that for which it was originally produced.
An applicant who obtains information through a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 or the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 does not have an automatic right to re-use that information. The purpose of the 2015 Regulations is to allow an applicant to apply to re-use public sector information based on the principles of fairness, transparency, non-discrimination and consistency of application.
The 2015 Regulations also requires Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board to hold and make available an Information Asset List which shows information that we make available for re-use. An applicant can apply to re-use information contained within the Board’s Information Asset List. In addition requests can also be made to re-use Joint Board information that is already in the public domain, for example on our website.
Click here to view more information on Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board’s Procedures For Re-use Of Public Sector Information.
The Scottish Information Commissioner
The Commissioner can be contacted at the following address: -
Scottish Information Commissioner
Telephone: 01334 464610
Fax: 01334 464611
Guide to Information available through the Model Publication Scheme
More information - FOI Documents