Scotland Freedom of Information
As a Registered Social Landlord operating in Scotland, Home in Scotland Limited is committed to openness and transparency and we follow the legislation set out in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
If you would like to make an information request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 the sections below will guide you through that process.
Under the section “Information we make public” you will find our Publication Scheme which contains a link to all the information we already make public. You may well find the answer to your question is already there.
The services we provide to our factoring customers and mid-market rent customers is not covered by FOI.
How to make a Freedom of Information request to Home in Scotland Limited
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 provides a right of access to a wide range of information held by public authorities, including Home in Scotland Limited as a Registered Social Landlord in Scotland. The purpose is to promote greater openness and accountability.
Our duty to you
Under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, our duty to you is to:
- Provide information to you about us through a publication scheme
- Provide a guide to this information
- Respond appropriately to requests for information
Information we make public
Check whether the information you seek is already available. We publish information on this website and you may well find the answer to your question is already here. We have a publication scheme setting out what information we currently release or expect to release.
If you request information from us that is already published, we will simply refer you to the location of the published source.
Who can request information?
Currently we are only obliged to respond to Freedom of Information requests related to services in Scotland where Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) are classified as a public authority.
What can I request?
Home in Scotland Limited is subject to Freedom of Information by virtue of The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. However, not all functions are covered by Freedom of Information. Freedom of Information’s application is limited to ‘housing services’.
The following services are covered under Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002:
- The prevention and alleviation of homelessness
- The management of social housing accommodation
- The provision and management of sites for gypsies and travellers; and
- The supply of information to the Scottish Housing Regulator by a registered social landlord or a connected body in relation to its financial wellbeing and standards of governance
If the information is environmental, we will respond according to the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs). You do not have to know whether the information you want is covered by the EIR or the FOI Act. When you make a request, we will decide which law applies.
If the information is your own personal data, then you should make a subject access request under The UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 and not under the FOI Act. Please refer to the appropriate section below.
How do I request information
Your request must be in writing and can be either posted or emailed to us.
For postal requests, please send to the following address:
Data Protection Office
Home in Scotland Limited
One Strawberry Lane
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4BX
Email requests should be sent to DPO@homegroup.org.uk
Please write “Freedom of Information” in the subject line.
If you would have difficulty making a written request, please call our customer service centre on 0345 141 4663
To help you make your request you can use our downloadable letter template.
Before sending a request please follow the guidance below this will make the request process more efficient and will reduce the need for further clarification.
What information must I include in my request?
The FOI Act requires certain information to be supplied before we can respond to your request:
- Your real name – we do not have to respond to requests submitted under a pseudonym
- Your address (email addresses are acceptable depending on how you wish to receive your final request)
- A description of the information you wish to obtain; and
- Any preferences for the format in which you wish to receive the information e.g. electronic or hard copy. We will try to meet your preferences but cannot guarantee that we will be able to
What you do not need to do
- Explicitly mention the FOI Act, although it may help to do so
- Know whether the information is covered by the FOI Act or the EIR as we will decide this
- Say why you want the information; or specify particular documents. You have a right to information, no matter how it's recorded
How should I word my request?
Comprehensive guidance on submitting effective requests for information is available from the Scottish Information Commissioner’s Office. However, to frame an effective request for the information you need:
- Clearly identify the information you want. Be clear about date ranges or timescales. If it is not clear what you are requesting, we may need to seek further clarification
- Be as specific as possible. If your request is too general, it may be refused on the grounds that replying would exceed the cost limit laid down in the Fees Regulations. If this happens, we will ask you to resubmit a narrower, more specific request which could be met within the cost limits and give you advice and assistance to do so
- Ask questions such as “what” or “how much” as this is much more likely to result in a useful response
- Use straightforward, polite language
- Use open-ended questions such as “why”. We do not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded
- Base your request on assumptions or opinions
- Mix your request with complaints or comments
What happens when my request is received?
We have a legal obligation to reply to your FOI request and must do so within 20 working days of receipt. We will do one of the following:
- Supply you with the information you requested
- Inform you that we don’t hold the information and, if we are able, advise you who does
- Inform you that your request will exceed the cost limit specified in the Fees Regulations and invite you to submit a narrower request
- Inform you that we hold the information requested but refuse to provide all or part of it and explain why, citing one or more of the exemptions from the FOI Act
- Inform you that we are refusing your request on the basis it is repeated or vexatious; or
- Inform you that we need more time to consider the public interest test in relation to your request and let you know when to expect a further response. This should not be later than 20 working days after receipt of your request
What can I do if I am unhappy with the reply I received or the way my request was handled?
You can ask us for an internal review of your FOI request. When you write to us requesting an internal review, we will acknowledge your letter and tell you how long we think the review will take. We aim to complete internal reviews within 20 working days, although more cases that are complex may take longer. Where internal reviews go over 20 working days, we will keep you informed of progress.
If, after an internal review, you are still not satisfied you can then complain to the Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC). Details of how to do this are available at the SIC website.
Full details of how to ask us for an internal review will be included in our initial reply to your FOI request. Details of how to complain further to the Scottish Information Commissioner will be included in our response to your internal review request.
How do I request information held about me?
If the information requested is your own personal data, then you should make a subject access request under The UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 and not under the FOI Act. You can request a subject access request by calling our customer service centre on 0345 141 4663 stating you want to make a subject access request.
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