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The Commissioner's team

The Commissioner's team

The Scottish Information Commissioner has a team of 27 people. Our office is in St Andrews, Fife.

There are three departments, each with a Head of Department who reports directly to the Commissioner. Each is supported by a team. The responsibilities of each Head of Department and their team are explained below.

Please contact us if you have questions about the Commissioner or the team.

The Enforcement Team

Euan McCulloch, Head of Enforcement

The Head of Enforcement manages the investigation of applications for decision made under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, as well as ensuring that public authorities comply with the legislation. They are also responsible for advising the Commissioner on legal issues, and is the key in-house adviser to the Commissioner on freedom of information.

Deputy Heads of Enforcement

The Deputy Heads of Enforcement each manage a team of Freedom of Information Officers. They ensure that investigations progress and that decisions are drafted in line with organisational standards.

  • Jill Walker
  • Cal Richardson
  • Jennifer Ross (Acting)
Freedom of Information Officers (Enforcement)

Our Freedom of Information Officers (Enforcement) are responsible for investigating appeals received by the Commissioner. They also provide guidance and advice on the Act and respond to enquiries from the public and public authorities. Working with Support Assistant Andrea McEwan, they are:

  • Avril Mills
  • Colin MacFadyen
  • Wendy Snedden
  • Karen Lindsay
  • Karin Killington
  • Lyn Farmer
  • Nick Murton
  • Ross McEwen
  • Sally Dow
  • Calum Kitching
  • Graham O'Neill
  • Dawn Fraser
  • Stephen Stewart

We also have two Validation Officers:

  • Pauline Keith
  • Suzanne Jenkins

The Policy and Information Team

Claire Stephen, Head of Policy and Information

The Policy and Information Team are responsible for: improving FOI practice in public authorities; promoting rights to the public; influencing and supporting cultural change; developing knowledge, expertise and relationships. The team delivers external communications (including the website) and learning and development activities (including the annual Centre for FOI conference for practitioners and our programme of roadshows). We also monitor FOI legislation and practical experience of it e.g by operating the statistics portal and monitoring our intervention procedures. Much of the team's work is project-based, delivering outcomes to contribute to the Commissioner's strategic aims e.g. promoting FOI rights to young people, building the Commissioner's appeal portal, commissioning research around public authority practice or FOI users' experience.

Paul Mutch, Deputy Head of Policy and Information

The Deputy Head of Policy and Information provides essential support to the Head of Policy and Information and the Commissioner in meeting organisational objectives, with specific responsibilities related to communication and engagement and the management of a small team. 

Freedom of Information Officers (Policy and Information)

Our Policy and Information Officers support the Head of P&I in meeting her responsibilities. Their workloads are very varied, including managing and delivering projects, producing external reports regular research and external communications, including providing the Commissioner's press service. As with their colleagues in the Enforcement Team, they also provide guidance and advice on the Act and respond to enquiries.

The Officers in the Policy and Information team are:

  • Elaine Moffat
  • Bethan Owen
  • Alexander Stirling (Administration Officer)

The Corporate Services Team

Helen Gardner-Swift, Head of Corporate Services

Helen heads up the Corporate Services Team which provides services to enable the Scottish Information Commissioner to meet his duties. Helen provides assurance to the Commissioner as Accountable Officer, ensures that the organisation is run effectively and efficiently and has management responsibility for the full range of corporate functions, including Governance, Finance, Information Management, Risk, Health and Safety , Human Resources, Procurement, Contracts and IT.

Finance and Administration Managers

The Finance and Administration Managers are responsible for financial management, IT, corporate support to the Office, providing our front-line service to the public and ensuring the building meets all relevant statutory requirements for health and safety. They are:

  • Kim Berry
  • Liz Brown

The Administrators provides a full range of support functions to the organisation, are the front-line point of contact with the public and public authorities and support the Finance and Administration Managers with IT, health and safety and financial administration. Our Administrators are:

  • Sam Letham
  • Vacant

Speaking engagements

The Commissioner's officer receives many invitations to make presentations at a wide range of events. We would, ideally, like to be able to participate in all of the events to which we're invited, but sometimes we have to decline. This can be due to other pre-existing commitments, but we also have to make a decision about the best use of our organisation's resources.

More information on our policy on speaking engagements can be found below, or alternatively you can download our Speaking Engagements Policy

Invitations from the public

For the purposes of this policy "the public" is any person or organisation not a Scottish public authority or a commercial organisation. The public included community and voluntary organisations, charities, MSPs and Councillors. 

We aim to make the best use our resources to promote access to information rights to those who use, or could use, them. Our aim is to promote rights and help the public make the best use of those rights. 

We particularly welcome invitations to speak at events involving members of the community and voluntary organisations, especially where there are large numbers of attendees or many organisations present. 

We do not charge and generally meet our own travel costs. We are happy to attend events outside office hours. 

Invitations from public bodies

When considering invitations from public authorities we aim to reach as wide an audience as possible. We actively seek opportunities to participate in events that will enable us to inform authorities about their duties and responsibilities, and which promote and share good practice. 

We do not charge for these events, but may ask for a contribution to travel expenses. 

Invitations from commercial organisations

When we consider invitation from commercial organisations (i.e. law firms, human resources consultants and records management specialists) we apply similar principles as we do to public authorities in terms of promoting and sharing good practice.