Model Publication Scheme 2015
1. The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Act) requires Scottish public authorities to adopt and maintain a publication scheme. Authorities are under a legal obligation to:
(i) publish the classes of information that they make routinely available
(ii) tell the public how to access the information they publish and whether information is available free of charge or on payment.
2. The Act also allows for the development of model publication schemes which can be adopted by more than one authority. This Model Publication Scheme has been produced and approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner. It is approved until 31 May 2019.
3. The Commissioner has issued a Guide to accompany this model scheme www.itspublicknowledge.info/MPS. This is essential reading for authorities adopting the model scheme: it explains the requirements of the scheme in detail and provides lists of types of information the Commissioner expects authorities will publish.
Adopting this model scheme
4. This model scheme can be adopted by any authority which is subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For more information about which bodies this applies to, please visit http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/WhocanIask.aspx
5. Adoption commits an authority to:
(i) adopting this model scheme without amending it
(ii) publishing the information, including environmental information, that it holds and which falls within the classes of information below.
(iii) ensuring that the way it publishes its information meets the Model Publication Scheme 2015 Principles.
(iv) producing a Guide to Information which sets out the information the authority publishes through this model scheme, how to access it, whether there is a charge for it and how to get help to access information.
(v) notifying the Scottish Information Commissioner that it has adopted this model scheme.
6. Where an authority fails to meet the above commitments, it cannot be considered to have adopted this model scheme and may be failing with the duty to adopt and maintain a publication scheme in line with section 23(1) of the Act.
Model Publication Scheme 2015 principles
Principle One: Availability and formats
7. Information published through this model scheme should, wherever possible, be made available on the authority's website.
8. There must be an alternative arrangement for people who do not wish to, or who cannot, access the information either online or by inspection at the authority's premises. An authority may, for example, arrange to send out information in paper copy on request (although there may be a charge for doing so).
Principle Two: Exempt information
9. If information described by the classes cannot be published and is exempt under Scotland's freedom of information laws (for example sensitive personal data or a trade secret), the authority may withhold the information or provide a redacted version for publication, but it must explain why it has done so.
Principle Three: Copyright and re-use
10. The authority's Guide to Information must include a copyright statement which is consistent with the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Where the authority does not hold the copyright in information it publishes, this should be made clear.
11. Any conditions applied to the re-use of published information must be consistent with the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005. (To be revised as a result of Directive 2013/37/EU by summer 2015).
12. The Commissioner recommends that authorities consider using the Open Government Licence, produced by The National Archives for their published information.
Principle Four: Charges
13. The Guide to Information must contain a charging schedule, explaining any charges and how they will be calculated.
14. No charge may be made to view information on the authority's website or at its premises, except where there is a fee set by other legislation, for example, for access to some registers.
15. The authority may charge for computer discs, photocopying, postage and packing and other costs associated with supplying information. The charge must be no more than these elements actually cost the authority e.g. cost per photocopy or postage. There may be no further charges for information in Classes 1 - 7 below. An exception is made for commercial publications (see Class 8 below) where pricing may be based on market value.
Principle Five: Contact details
16. The authority must provide contact details for enquiries about any aspect of the adoption of the model scheme, the authority's Guide to Information and to ask for copies of the authority's published information.
17. The Act requires authorities to provide reasonable advice and assistance to anyone who wants to request information which is not published. The authority's Guide to Information must provide contact details to access this help.
Principle Six: Duration
18. Once published through the Guide to Information, the information should be available for the current and previous two financial years. Where information has been updated or superseded, only the current version need be available (previous versions may be requested from the authority).
 Section 15 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and regulation 9 of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
The Classes of Information
About the authority
Information about the authority, who we are, where to find us, how to contact us, how we are managed and our external relations
How we deliver our functions and services
Information about our work, our strategies and policies for delivering functions and services and information for our service users
How we take decisions and what we have decided
Information about the decisions we take, how we make decisions and how we involve others
What we spend and how we spend it
Information about our strategy for, and management of, financial resources (in sufficient detail to explain how we plan to spend public money and what has actually been spent)
How we manage our human, physical and information resources
Information about how we manage the human, physical and information resources of the authority.
How we procure goods and services from external providers
Information about how we procure goods and services and our contracts with external providers
How we are performing
Information about how we perform as an organisation and how well we deliver our functions and services
Our commercial publications
Information packaged and made available for sale on a commercial basis and sold at market value through a retail outlet e.g., bookshop, museum or research journal.
Document Control Sheet
Full name of current version: Class, Title, Version No, INVU version no and status. E.g. C1MOU Between the SIC and the ICv01.25
C2 Model Publication Scheme 2015 V01.00
Name of document in website file library
Approver (SMT, HOE,HOOM,HOPI)
02 December 2014
For publication (Y/N)
Responsible Manager (SIC, HOE, HOOM,HOPI)
Date last major review
02 December 2014
Date of last minor review
Date of next regular review
23 January 2015
Date guide to information updated
23 January 2015
Action by (initials)
Summary of changes to document
New version number
(e.g. v01.27, or 02.03)
(e.g. updated paras 1-8, updated HOPI to HOOM, reviewed whole section on PI test, whole document updated, corrected typos, reformatted to new branding)
Scottish Information Commissioner
St Andrews, Fife
t 01334 464610
f 01334 464611