Freedom of Information legislation

Access to Information is governed by the following legislation:

  • Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
  • Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) gives you a general right of access to recorded information held by Aberdeen City Council. In simple terms this means you can ask us for any information held by us.

The aim of the legislation is to make it easier for you to understand how Scottish public authorities like Aberdeen City Council fulfil their duties and deliver services; show how and why decisions are made; and demonstrate how public money is spent.

The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) give you a specific right to see environmental information collected and held by Aberdeen City Council. It includes issues such as air and water quality, noise, waste, land and property, and the plans or activities that affect these.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure whether the information you are interested in is environmental or not. Simply make your request and we will handle your request under the correct legislation.

Exemptions and exceptions

There may be circumstances when we will not supply you with information if we deem it exempt from release under FOISA, or excepted under the EIRs. If information, or a document which contains information, is exempt from release, we will remove or redact the information before providing it to you and always explain why we have done so. The Exemptions and Exceptions document, in the related documents section below, gives further information on the circumstances in which Aberdeen City Council may refuse to supply you with the information requested.

Publication schemes

Section 23 of the Act requires all Scottish public authorities to adopt a publication scheme, which is a document that states what information the authority publishes (or plans to publish). An authority's scheme must also explain how to access the published information and whether it is available free of charge or for a fee. Publication schemes must be approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner. Find out more about our Publication Scheme.


Compliance with FOISA is enforced by the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC). The Scottish Information Commissioner is a public official appointed by Her Majesty the Queen on the nomination of the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Information Commissioner:

  • investigates applications and issues legally enforceable decisions.
  • promotes good practice amongst public authorities.
  • provides the public with information on their rights.

Our strategies, policies and procedures

We have a range of strategy, policy and procedure documents relating to access to information legislation, and information and records management. Copies of our Policies and Procedures are available on demand. 

Contact the Access to Information Team 

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