Freedom of Information requests

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and FOI Requests

The council are continuing to accept requests for information.  However, the new Coronavirus (Scotland) Act has made some amendments to the timescales for responding.  Under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 the council was required to respond to requests for information and internal reviews 'promptly' and no later than 20 working days from receipt of the request.  With the new Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, the duty to respond 'promptly' has not changed. However, the timescales for both requests and requests for internal reviews have been amended to 60 working days from the date of receipt.

The council will continue to endeavour to respond to any information request promptly.  However, due to staff shortages and diversion of resources in response to Coronavirus (Covid-19), there may be delays in responding to your request.


Freedom of Information Requests

Anyone - from anywhere in the world - has a right to see almost any kind of recorded information held by West Lothian Council, however old the information is. You do not have to say why you want the information or what you want it for and we are obliged to respond to all information requests we receive within 60 working days of receipt.

If you would like to make a FOI request, please put this in writing or another recordable format , and send it to:

Customer Services, West Lothian Council, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 6FF; email: customer.service@westlothian.gov.uk

Re-use of Information

Provision of information under access legislation such as the Freedom of Information (Scotland)  Act does not mean that the recipient has an automatic right to re-use that information, for example to publish it, or adapt it in some way.  Most of the information that West Lothian Council provides in response to Freedom of Information requests will be subject to copyright protection and permission to re-use it will be required.  In most cases the copyright will be owned by West Lothian Council.  The copyright on other information may be owned by another person or organisation, as indicated on the information itself. 

Where it is confirmed in writing, you will be free to use any information supplied for your own non-commercial research or private study purposes .  The written permission may also state that the information can be used for any other purpose allowed by a limitation or exception in copyright law, such as news reporting.  There may be further conditions, such as:

  • Any use must be in context and must not be misleading;
  • Any other type of re-use, for example by publishing the information in digital or analogue form, including on the internet, will require the permission of the copyright owner. 

It may be that permission will not be granted, in which case a reason for refusal will be provided. 

If you wish to make an application to re-use information supplied to you, further information can be found on the page about re-use of public sector information.

In all cases you should assume that the re-use of the information is not permitted unless you have been specifically informed that you are allowed to re-use the information.

For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission. 

Appeals

If you have made a request and are unhappy with the response from West Lothian Council or have not had a response, you have the right to request a review by the authority.  Please address any requests for an internal review to:

Carol Johnston, Chief Solicitor, West Lothian Council, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 6FF or email: carol.johnston@westlothian.gov.uk

Scottish Information Commissioner

If you have already been through the two steps of request and request for review and are still not happy, you can make an appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at:

Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS. Telephone: 01334 464610 Fax: 01334 464611; e-mail: enquiries@itspublicknowledge.info

Privacy Notice 

Frequently asked questions regarding Freedom of Information requests.