Freedom of Information

“An Act to make provision for the disclosure of information held by public authorities or by persons providing services for them…”

Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002

What is it?

Section 23 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 states that it is the duty of all public authorities (including non-departmental public bodies) to adopt and maintain a publication scheme. The publication scheme should contain details of the classes of information that the body publishes or intends to publish and details of any charges for accessing such information.

The Scottish Information Commissioner has approved our publications scheme which is available by clicking on the link within this page.

Why do we have a Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 was designed to promote a culture of openness and accountability amongst public sector bodies by providing people with rights of access to the information held by them. It is intended that by granting rights to information under publication schemes, people will better understand how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions they do and how they spend public money.

How does it work?

Any information can be requested under the Act. It is important to note that exemptions to the information the Council has to provide can apply, and Architecture and Design Scotland will use these exemptions where appropriate. An example of this might be where information is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998 and where information is of a commercially sensitive nature.

How do I access personal information held at Architecture and Design Scotland?

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you have the right to ask Architecture and Design Scotland to inform you whether it processes any personal information relating to you and to provide you with a copy.

Model Publication Scheme

Architecture & Design Scotland has adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2015 produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner. She has approved this scheme until 31 May 2019.

Model Publication Scheme 2015

Guide to Information (updated February 2016)

The purpose of this Guide to Information is to:

  • allow the public to see what information is available (and what is not available) in relation to each class,
  • state what charges may be applied
  • explain how to find the information easily
  • provide contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing the information
  • explain how to request information we hold that has not been published


If you have a complaint about A&DS please see our complaints handling procedure below.

Complaints handling procedure
Complaints leaflet
Sample complaints letter


If you have any questions about the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, or the Data Protection Act 1998, please contact the Communications Manager on 0131 556 6699.

Alternatively you can find out more information from: (Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002) (Data Protection Act 1998)

Additionally, services such as ‘What Do They Know’ can be used to submit requests


A&DS board members and design review panellists are provided with guidance as to how they should undertake their roles on behalf of the organisation.

The Guidance for the board can be found here.

The Guidance for Design Review panellists can be found be found here.

Reporting Obligations

As a non-departmental public body A&DS is obliged to report on our website the salary of any Senior Appointments as defined by the Scottish Government Pay Policy Unit.

Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive Officer:  £75,000 – £80,000 (2019/20).

No other staff members meet the reporting criteria.

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