The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) requires that all Scottish public authorities make certain types of information routinely available, and provide a guidance to in formation telling the public how to access the information and what it might cost.
This guide to information also contains details of the environmental information that we routinely make available under Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EI(S)Rs).
Heriot-Watt University has adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2013 produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner, who is responsible for enforcing FOISA. This scheme has been approved until 31 May 2017. You can see this scheme on the Commissioner's website, or by contacting us at the address below.
We have made a commitment to publish all information which we hold which falls within the classes of information in the scheme. This Guide to Information describes the information which we publish in accordance with the scheme, and how you can access this information.
We are obliged by FOISA to have due regard to the public interest in providing access to the information that we hold which relates to:
- The services we provide;
- The costs of those services;
- The standard of those services;
- The facts that inform the important decision we take; and:
- The reasoning that informs our decisions
This Guide to information was prepared by the Scottish Higher Education Information Practitioners Group (SHEIP), under the auspices of Universities Scotland's Secretaries Group. SHEIP consulted the public authorities to be covered by the Guide, to assess what information should be included in the Guide, taking account of reviews of information requests, and assessments of previous publication scheme feedback.
Accessing Information under the guide to information
Our Guide to Information provides more details of the information available under the scheme, along with additional guidance on how the information falling with each "class" may be accessed.
Most information listed in our Guide to Information is available on our website. In many cases a link within Section 8: Categories of Information will direct you to the relevant page or document. Where no such link is present, you can use our website's “Search” facility.
If you are still having trouble finding any document listed under our scheme, then please call Frank Lopez or Ann Jones, Heritage and Information Governance, 0131 451 3274/3218 for further assistance.
If the information you seek is listed in our Guide to Information but is not published on our website, we can send it to you by email, wherever possible. When requesting information from us, please provide a telephone number so that we can telephone you to clarify details, if necessary. You can contact us by email on email@example.com
Information can also be requested from us over the telephone. Please call Mr Frank Lopez or Ms Ann Jones, Heritage and Information Governance, 0131 451 3274/3218 to request information available under this scheme.
All information under the scheme will normally be available in paper copy form. Please address your request to:
Freedom of Information and Data Protection
Heritage and Information Governance
Edinburgh EH14 4AS
When writing to us to request information, please include your name and address, full details of the information or documents you would like to receive, and any fee applicable (see "Our Charging Policy" for further information on fees). Please also include a telephone number so we can telephone you to clarify any details, if necessary.
Advice and assistance
If you have any difficulty identifying the information you want to access, then please contact Mr Frank Lopez or Ms Ann Jones, Heritage and Information Governance, 0131 451 3274/3218 who will be happy to help.
Information that we may withhold
Our aim in maintaining this Guide is to be as open as possible. All information covered by the publication scheme can either be accessed through our website, or will be provided promptly following our receipt of your request.
If a document contains information that the University may legitimately which to exempt from disclosure under an appropriate section of Scotland's freedom of information laws, (for example sensitive personal information or trade secret), we may remove or redact the information before publication but we will inform you that we have done so and provide an explanation of why the information is withheld. Refer to the Scottish information Commissioner's guidance on information that may be exempt from publication is available.
If you wish to complain about any information which has been withheld from you, please refer to "Contact us" below.
Our charging policy
Wherever possible, information contained within our guide is available from us free of charge where it can be downloaded from our website or where it can be sent to you electronically by email.
We reserve the right to impose charges for providing information in paper copy or on computer disc. Charges will reflect the actual costs of reproduction and postage to the authority, as set out below. In the event that a charge is to be levied, you will be advised of the charge and how it has been calculated. Information will not be provided to you until payment has been received.
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).
Computer discs will be charged at the rate of £1.00 per CD-ROM.
We will pass on postage charges to the requester at the cost to the University of sending the information by first Category post.
There are also a small number of publications for which Heriot-Watt University makes a charge. These documents include "Heriot-Watt University: An Illustrated History" by Professor Patrick N O'Farrell which is available at £22.50 plus postage and packaging by mail order from Image Scotland.
These publications will be charged at the cover price, plus actual postage costs, as charged by the Royal Mail.
Information obtained from this Guide to Information cannot be copied or reproduced without formal permission. Such permission will usually be granted provided it is copied or reproduced accurately, is not used in a misleading context and provided that the source of the material is identified and the copyright status acknowledged.
The Guide to Information may, however, contain information where the copyright holder is not Heriot-Watt University. In most cases the copyright holder will be obvious from the documents. In cases where the copyright is unclear, however, it is the responsibility of the person accessing the information to locate and seek the permission of the copyright holder before reproducing the material or in any other way breaching the rights of the copyright holder. Wherever possible, this scheme will indicate where we do not own the copyright on documents within Section 12 - Categories of Information.
Information about Crown copyright material is available on the website of the Queen’s Printer for Scotland. We can provide you with a copy of this information
How to access information which is not available under this scheme
If the information you are seeking is not available under this Guide to Information, then you may wish to request it from us. The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) provides you with a right of access to the information we hold, subject to certain exemptions. The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EI(S)Rs) separately provide a right of access to the environmental information we hold, while the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) provides a right of access to any personal information about you that we hold. Again, these rights are subject to certain exceptions or exemptions.
Should you wish to request a copy of any information that we hold that is not available under this scheme, please write to Mr Frank Lopez or Ms Ann Jones, Heritage and Information Governance, Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charges for information which is not available under the scheme
The charges for information which is available under this scheme are set out under section 6 - Our Charging Policy. If you submit a request to us for information which is not available under the scheme 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, 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 to determine whether we hold the information requested, nor for the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released. 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 to determine whether we hold the information requested, nor for the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released. 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 and how it has been calculated. 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 sheet for black and white copying, 30p per A4 sheet 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.
The first £100 worth of information will be provided to you without charge.
Where information costs between £100 and £600 to provide you will 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, which is calculated on the basis of a waiver for the first £100 and 10% of the remaining £500.
Where it would cost more than £600 to provide the information to you, however, we will ask you to pay the full cost of providing the information, with no waiver for any portion of the cost.
Requests for your own personal data
The University levies a fee of £10.00 for the provision of personal data in response to a subject access request in accordance with its rights under Statutory Instrument 2000 No. 191: The Data Protection (Subject Access) (Fees and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2000.
You can contact us for assistance with any aspect of this guide to information. We will be pleased to hear your comments and suggestions, work to resolve any complaints, or advise you on how to ask for information that we do not routinely publish.
Please send any comments or suggestions to:
Ms Ann Jones
Heritage and Information Governance
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 451 3274/3218