Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (“EIRs”) gives everyone a right of access to information held by Scottish public authorities.
In 2013 Edinburgh Leisure was designated as a Scottish Public Authority for the purposes of FOISA & EIRs.
The aim of FOISA is to increase openness and transparency by allowing people to access information about how decisions are taken and how public services are delivered.
Any person who makes a request to Edinburgh Leisure for information is entitled to receive that information, subject to certain limited conditions and exemptions.
What can I ask for?
You can ask for any information from us. It doesn't matter how old the information is, or how it's stored - as long as it is recorded in some form. That includes documents, spreadsheets, emails, messages, and even photos and videos.
FOI only applies to recorded information. It won't, for example, cover someone's thoughts or opinions, unless they've been recorded in some way. If you're not sure if the information you want is recorded, we have a duty to advise and assist you, so you can ask before you make your FOI request.
You might not even have to make a request for the information that you want. It may be published already, through our "Guide to Information".
You can access our Guide to Information here
Asking for certain types of information
The Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation give you the right to see information about yourself.
For information on how to access your own personal information, please see our Data Protection pages.
FOISA doesn't apply to environmental information, but the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations (EIRs) give you very similar rights.
The EIRs apply to all information which relates to the environment, in its broadest sense, including land, air, water, soil, buildings, animals and people, pollution of all kinds, waste, health and safety. This also includes reports, measures, and analysis of environmental information.
FOISA applies to all other information.
For more information, see our Environmental Information Page
Whatever type of information you're asking for, you don't have to mention the law when you ask. It's up to us to decide which law applies to the information you've asked for.So, if you're unsure which law applies to the information you want, don't worry - all you have to do is ask.
Our Publication Scheme
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Act) requires Scottish public authorities to adopt and maintain a publication scheme which has the approval of the Scottish Information Commissioner and publish information in accordance with that scheme.
Authorities are under a legal obligation to:
- publish the classes of information that the authority makes routinely available
- tell the public how to access the information and whether information is available free of charge or on payment.
Alongside FOISA, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs) provide a separate right of access to the environmental information that we hold.
The scheme sets out our commitment to make certain classes of information routinely available, such as policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports, and financial information.
Edinburgh Leisure has adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2021, produced and approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner.
The Scheme can also be viewed at the Scottish Information Commissioner website.
In adopting the Model Publication Scheme, Edinburgh Leisure has produced a 'Guide to Information' which:
- Allows you to see what information is available (and what is not 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.
You can view our Guide to Information via the link below. Alternatively, you can contact us on 0131 458 2100 to ask for a hard copy to be posted to you.
Our Guide to Information also contains details of the environmental information that we routinely make available.Our Guide to Information
How to request information which is not in our publication scheme
If the information you want is not in our publication scheme, you have the right to request it from us. FOISA & EIRs gives you a right of access to the information we hold (whether we publish it or not), subject to certain exemptions.
Find out more about in our Making a Request section below.
Making a Request
Requesting information is simple - all you have to do is ask.
A FOISA request must be made in writing (email is fine). An EIRs request can be made either in writing or verbally. You don't have to mention FOISA or EIRs (although you can), nor do you have to give any reasons for asking or say why you want the information. You don't even have to live in Scotland.
Before submitting a Freedom of Information request, you should check our website, our Publication Scheme, or try visiting our Information Hub first, as we have a large amount of information about our products and services there.
When submitting a request, please:
- state your full name (i.e., your e-mail address will not be sufficient to provide your full name).
- state a contact address - this can be a postal or email address
- describe the information you want
- State the format in which you would wish to receive the information.
You can add other contact information such as a telephone number. It can help speed up the response so we can get in touch with you quickly to check a point.
To request information, you can:
Information Compliance Section
Meadowbank Sports Centre
Use our online form
Submit a Request by clicking on the link below and selecting Freedom of Information/Subject Access Request Form on the Enquiry Request dropdown.
You can also make a verbal request for environmental information under the EIRs by calling our Customer Service Team on 0131 458 2100
Edinburgh Leisure wishes to assist applicants and therefore we may contact you to clarify the exact nature of the information requested or to discuss the format of the information with you.
Our staff who are responsible for this scheme would be happy to assist you if you wish to contact them with any requests.
You can find out more about your right to access information at the Scottish Information Commissioner website.
In responding to requests for information under the FOISA we are entitled to charge a reasonable amount towards making the information available. This includes information which may have been requested under the EIRs.
The costs for FOISA requests are based on:
- estimated costs of staff time to locate and retrieve information.
- any costs associated with putting the information into a particular format.
- copying and postage costs.
We do not charge for the time taken to decide if we hold the information requested, or the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released. Charges may be made for locating, retrieving, and providing information to you.
Further information on charges is available in our Information Charging Guide 2023
If we can't give you the Information
Our aim is to provide information whenever possible. If we don't hold the information or believe there is a good reason to withhold it, we will explain why in our response.
There are several exemptions and exceptions under FOISA and EIRs which define when we can refuse to issue information to you.
· information about yourself (this should be requested under Data Protection legislation). Please see our Data Protection webpage for how to make a request)
· information about other individuals - this is usually also exempt under Data Protection legislation
· information which is already published by the council or publicly available elsewhere, even if there is a fee for obtaining it
· where your request is too vague or broad, so that it would take an unreasonable amount of time and resource for the council to answer it. In this case, we will contact you to ask you to be more specific or to narrow the request to ask for less information
· if it will cost us more than £600 to find and provide the information.
If we refuse to supply information to you, we must explain why, quoting one of the exemptions (FOISA) or exceptions (EIRs).
A full list of exemptions and exceptions is available on the Scottish Information Commissioners Office website:
If you are unhappy with our decision or how we have dealt with your request, you can ask us to review this.
If you are still not happy you can appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.
For a handy overview on Freedom of Information in Scotland, please watch this short video guide: