SEPA's code of practice for openness
SEPA believes that its aims of environmental protection and
enhancement are best served by being an open and accessible
organisation and by providing the public with information on our
activities and on the state of the environment.
We are committed to providing an efficient, high quality public
service which fully meets the principles of the Government's
Citizen's Charter. This code explains how we will apply these
principles in practice.
SEPA board meetings
Dates and venues for SEPA board meetings will be announced in
the press well in advance. Agendas of these meetings are made
available to the public on specific request at the same time as
they are sent to board members. Agendas and minutes for the
main board meetings are posted on our web
Board meetings are held in open session but, if
appropriate, may include a private session for the discussion
Names of board members and their
interests are freely available.
Consultation and communication
SEPA staff are in regular contact with operators of industrial
processes and holders of environmental licences etc and we
encourage consultation and discussion as a means of improving
environmental quality. We welcome comments from interested parties
on our policies and strategies. All formal consultation documents,
for example on our charging schemes, are
made available to those who may be affected by their
Applications for environmental licences which may have a
significant environmental impact are advertised in the local press.
Anyone with an interest can then see the application and make
comments on the proposal.
We maintain a number of statutory public registers. The
information is held on a combination of paper and computer files
which may be inspected, free of charge, at our corporate office and
certain local offices. For further information about registers
please contact your local SEPA
Disclosure of information
Information will be made available under the Freedom
of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental
Information Regulations .
There are certain types of information which are generally not
available to the public, which include:
- confidential information which is part of a legal case, or
concerning national security
- personal or commercially confidential information
- incomplete or draft documents at our discretion
- information where disclosure may lead to environmental
If we have to refuse a request, this will be confirmed in
writing by one of our senior managers, outlining the reasons for
the refusal. Where we are able to release information, it will be
done as soon as practicable.