Freedom of information

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Guide to information published by Inverness College UHI under the Model Publication Scheme 2013


Introduction

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) provides individuals with a right of access to all recorded information held by Inverness College UHI. Anyone can use this right, and information can only be withheld where FOISA expressly permits it.

FOISA requires Inverness College UHI to adopt and maintain a publication scheme, and to publish information in accordance with that scheme[1].  A publication scheme is a document which describes the information the college publishes, tells the public where to find it, and whether there is a charge for it. When deciding what it will publish, a college must consider the public interest in information about[2]:

its services, the cost of providing services, and the standards attained by those services

  • the facts or analyses, on the basis of which it has made decisions of importance to the public
  • the reasons for the decisions it has made.

 

The Act also allows the Scottish Information Commissioner to prepare model publication schemes which can be adopted by a group of authorities[3].  The Commissioner has developed the Model Publication Scheme 2013 (‘MPS’), which is suitable for adoption by all public authorities, including Scottish colleges.  You can find a link to the MPS here http://www.inverness.uhi.ac.uk/

Inverness College UHI has adopted the Scottish Information Commissioner’s MPS in its entirety, without amendment.  This means that we are committed to publishing all the information we hold, which is described by the classes in the MPS.

Our Guide to Information

This document is the Guide to Information which Inverness College UHI makes available under the classes described in the MPS.  It:

  • allows the public to see what information is available in relation to each class
  • states what charges may be applied
  • explains how to find the information easily
  • provides contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing the information
  • explains how to  request information that has not been published.

 

Alongside FOISA, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs) provides a separate right of access to the environmental information that we hold.  The MPS also covers environmental information.

About the Model Publication Scheme

The MPS set out eight broad classes of information, and by adopting it, Inverness College UHI is committing to publishing everything that it holds which falls into the broad description given for each class.  The MPS classes are:

  • Class 1: About the authority
  • Class 2: How we deliver our functions and services
  • Class 3: How we take decisions and what we have decided
  • Class 4: What we spend and how we spend it
  • Class 5: How we manage our human, physical and information resources
  • Class 6: How we procure goods and services from external providers
  • Class 7: How we are performing
  • Class 8: Our commercial publications

 

The MPS also describes the standards for e.g. copyright, charging, availability and formats, which an authority is committing to when it adopts the MPS – while this Guide sets out the specific arrangements we have made at Inverness College UHI.

Exempt Information

If a document we publish contains information that is exempt under Scotland’s freedom of information laws (for example sensitive personal information or a trade secret), we may remove or black out the information before publication but we will explain why.   Note that information will only be withheld, however, where FOISA (or, in the case of environmental information, the EIRs) expressly permits it.  If you wish to complain about any information which has been withheld from you, contact the Freedom of Information Officer at foi.ic@uhi.ac.uk

Availability and format of information

Online:

Most information listed in our Guide to Information is available to download from our website at http://www.inverness.uhi.ac.uk/. Often a link within the classes will take you direct to the relevant page or document.  Where there is no such link, use our website’s “Search” facility at http://www.inverness.uhi.ac.uk/. If you are still having trouble finding information, please contact the Freedom of Information Officer at foi.ic@uhi.ac.uk for further assistance.

By inspection:

You can choose to visit our premises to inspect any of the information in this Guide.  However it would be helpful if you could call us to make an appointment, so we can ensure you can be dealt with efficiently when you arrive – please contact 01463 273511

By e-mail:

If the information you are looking for is listed in our Guide but is not published on our website, you can request it by e-mailing us at foi.ic@uhi.ac.uk. We will usually be able to send you the information you are looking for by email.  When requesting information from us, please provide a telephone number so that we can call you to clarify details, if necessary.

However we offer alternative arrangements for people who do not want to, or cannot, access the information online (or by inspection at our premises).  For example, we can usually arrange to send information to you in paper copy (although there may be a charge for this).

By phone:

You can also request information by phone.  Please call 01463 273511 to request information available under this Guide.

By post:

To obtain information listed under the scheme as a printed document or other format by post, please send your request to Freedom of Information Officer, Inverness College UHI, 3 Longman Road, INVERNESS, IV1 1SA

When writing to us to request information, please include your name, address and phone number and full details of the information you would like to receive.  We may need to phone you to clarify the information you want.

Copyright

Where Inverness College UHI holds the copyright in its published information, the information may be copied or reproduced without formal permission, provided that:

  • it is copied or reproduced accurately
  • it is not used in a misleading context, and
  • the source of the material is identified


Where Inverness College UHI does not hold the copyright in information we publish, we will make this clear.

Charges

This section explains when we may make a charge for our publications and how any charge will be calculated.  There is no charge to view information on our website or at our premises

We may charge for providing information to you e.g., photocopying and postage, but we will charge you no more than it actually costs us to do so. We will always tell you what the cost is before providing the information to you.

Reproduction costs

Where charges are applied, photocopied information will be charged at a standard rate of 10p per A4 side of paper (black and white copy) and 30p per A4 side of paper (colour copy) and 20p per A3 side of paper (black and white copy) and 60p per A3 side of paper (colour copy)

Computer discs will be charged at the rate of £1.00 per CD-Rom.

Postage cost:

We will pass on postage costs to the requester at the cost to the college of sending the information by first class post.

When providing copies of pre-printed publications, we will charge no more than the cost per copy of the total print run.  We do not pass any other costs on to you in relation to our published information.

Feedback or Complaints

We welcome feedback on how we can develop our Guide to Information further.  If you would to comment on any aspect of this Guide, or the Commissioner‘s MPS, please contact quality.unit@ic.ac.uk or telephone 01463 273506/444

If you wish to complain about any aspect of this Guide, then please contact us, and we will try and resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.  You can contact quality.unit@ic.ac.uk or telephone 01463 273506/444

Any complaint will be acknowledged within two working days of receipt and we will respond in full within twenty working days.  You have legal rights to access information under FOISA and EIRs and a right of appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner if you are dissatisfied with our response.  These rights apply only to information requests made in writing* or another recordable format.  If you are unhappy with our responses to your request you can ask us to review it and if you are still unhappy, you can make an appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9DS

Tel:              01334 464610
Email:           enquiries@itspublicknowledge.info
Website:        www.itspublicknowledge.info

*verbal requests for environmental information are acceptable.

How to access information which is not available under this MPS


Should you wish to request a copy of any information that we hold that is not available under the MPS, please contact Freedom of Information Officer at foi.ic@uhi.ac.uk

Charges for information not available under the MPS:

If you submit a request to us for information which is not available under the MPS the charges will be based on the following calculations:

General information requests:

  • 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, that is 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 used to determine whether we hold the information requested, nor for the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released. However 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.


Charges for environmental information:

We do not charge for the time spent to determine whether we hold the information requested, nor for the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released. However 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 60 working days 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.

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

  • Photocopying is charged at 10p per A4 side and 20p per A4 side for black and white copying, 30p per A4 side and 60P per A3 side for colour copying.
  • Postage is charged at actual rate for first class mail.
  • Staff time is calculated at actual cost per staff member hourly salary rate to a maximum of £15 per person per hour.


Publication Timescale

In some of the Classes covered by the MPS, information is not published until it is formally approved, a process which may take some time after its initial creation in draft form. This applies especially to minutes of meetings, which are normally not available until approved by the next meeting in the sequence. The relevant timescales are published in the same locations and in the same form that the information will ultimately be published.

Guide to Information published by Inverness College UHI

The next section includes the information we publish under the MPS classes.  Several larger classes are broken down into a number of sub-classes for ease of use.

MPS class

Sub-classes

Class 1: About Inverness College UHI

General information about Inverness College UHI

Access to information

Our constitution

Corporate planning

How Inverness College UHI is run

Diversity

Health and safety

External and community relations

Government and regulator relations

Class 2: How we deliver our functions and services

 

Student administration and support

Teaching quality

Information services

Class 3: How we take decisions and what we have decided

 

Class 4: What we spend and how we spend it

 

Class 5: How we manage our human, physical and information resources

Human resources

Physical resources

Information resource

Class 6: How we procure goods and services from external providers

 

Class 7: How we are performing

 

Class 8: Our commercial publications

 



[1] See section 23 of FOISA.

[2] See section 23(3) of FOISA.

[3] See section 24 of FOISA.