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What can I do if I'm unhappy?

What can I do if I'm unhappy?

You may disagree with how an authority handled your request. This may be for a number of different reasons - for example, you may be unhappy if the authority:

  • has not provided some, or all, of the information you asked for
  • has refused to provide information because it is "exempt" from disclosure
  • failed to respond within 20 working days, or at all
  • hasn't offered you advice about, or help making, your request
  • is asking you to pay a fee that you feel is unreasonable
  • says it does not hold some or all of the information you requested, and you disagree
  • believes your request is vexatious or repeated, or costs too much to answer

The three stages of appeal

If you are unhappy with an authority's response, you can challenge it by following these 3 stages:

  1. You should first ask the authority to review its response.
  2. If you have already done this, you can appeal to the Commissioner.
  3. If you are unhappy with the Commissioner's decision, you can appeal to the Court of Session (but only on a point of law).

Follow each link below for more information about each stage.

Animated guide - Unhappy with an FOI response?