Cyber-attack & data theft: Our response & service status

Third Party Guidance

We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions by third parties, when SEPA is handling a request for information. However, if you still need help to answer a query please contact the Access to Information team direct foi@sepa.org.uk

  Question  Answer 
1 Why have I been contacted by SEPA to provide third party feedback? When SEPA receives a request under FOISA or EIRs where we hold infomation supplied by a Third Party, we request feedback in relation to release of the information. The third party is consulted in relation to release of their information.

It is SEPA’s responsibility to make the final release decision on a document by document basis. SEPA must apply a presumption in favour of disclosure for all requests. This is in accordance with the guidance in the Scottish Ministers' Section 60 Code of Practice.

2 Who is requesting the information? SEPA handles all enquiries in line with the legislation. Enquiries are handled in an applicant blind manner.
3 What happens if I do not provide feedback within the specified timeframe? SEPA are required to respond within a statutory timeframe. If the third party fails to provide feedback, we will make a final release decision.
4 What are the grounds for SEPA to withhold information? The legislation permits SEPA to withhold information. Further guidance can be viewed on the Scottish Information Commissioner’s website. 
5 Why should I supply feedback? The Third Party should demonstrate the impact or substantial prejudice should the information be released.
6 Will withheld information be detailed in SEPA’s response to the enquirer? SEPA’s response will state how many documents have been withheld under each exception and apply the public interest test where necessary.
7 What is the Public Interest Test? Guidance relating to the public interest test for FOISA and EIRs can be found on the Scottish Information Commissioner’s website
8 Will my contact details be released?

If there are contact details within the released information, such as email addresses, these will be released in response to a request.

We ensure that Personal Data is handled correctly in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.

9 Where can I view the response sent to the enquirer and the released information?  A redacted response will be made available via SEPA's Disclosure Log