Freedom of Information
The social housing sector and Williamsburgh Housing, already prides itself on being open and accountable to our tenants, but from 11th November 2019, registered social landlords (RSLs) in Scotland will acquire new transparency obligations under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). This will give everyone a right of access to information held by RSL’s.
After years of debate and the robust recommendation of successive Scottish Information Commissioners, that housing associations should be in scope of FOISA, a designation order (under Section 5) adds RSLs to the list of public authorities in Schedule 1 of FOISA.
Williamsburgh Housing has been designated as a Scottish Public Authority by an order made under section 5 of the Act, known as the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (Designation of Persons as Scottish Public Authorities) Order 2013.
The aim of the Act is to increase openness and transparency by allowing people to access information about how decisions are taken and how public services are delivered.
About Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Act) requires Scottish public authorities and now RSL’s 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 the Act, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs) provide a separate right of access to the environmental information that we hold.
Model Publication Scheme
Williamsburgh Housing has adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2018, produced and approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner.
The Scheme can also be viewed in Publication Scheme Resources at the Scottish Information Commissioner website.
The scheme set out our commitment to make certain classes of information routinely available, such as policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports and financial information. We have developed a Guide to Information for this purpose and this also contains details of the environmental information that we routinely make available.
Find Out More (Guide To Information)
If you have a request for information, please complete and submit our Freedom of Information Request Form.
If you have any questions or require a copy of the Model Publication Scheme 2018 or the Guide to Information in a different format, please contact Williamsburgh Housing at:
Or by completing the Freedom of Information Request Form.
Under the Freedom of Information legislation, information may be withheld if there is a good reason for doing so.
If we withhold information, we will let you know why. If you are unhappy with our decision, or with the way we have dealt with your request, you can ask us to review our decision.
If you do not agree with the outcome of the review, you can ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to investigate.
For a short overview of the new Freedom of Information legislation, here is a video published by the Scottish Information Commissioner