Freedom of information
Introduction to the Guide to Information
Guide to information published North Highland College UHI under the Model Publication Scheme 2017.
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) requires North Highland College to adopt and maintain a publication scheme A publication scheme is a document which describes the information the College publishes, tells the public where to find it, and whether there is a charge for it. North Highland College has adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2017 produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner, who is responsible for enforcing FOISA. You can see this scheme on the Commissioner's website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/ScottishPublicAuthorities/PublicationSchemes/TheModelPublicationScheme.aspx
Or by contacting us at the address below.
Alternatively, you can write to:
Freedom of Information Officer
North Highland College UHI
We have made a commitment to publish all information which we hold which falls within the classes of information in the scheme. This Guide to Information describes the information which we publish in accordance with the scheme, and how you can access the information.
We are obliged by FOISA to have due regard to the public interest in providing access to the information that we hold which relates to:
- the service we provide;
- the costs of those services;
- the standard of those services;
- the facts that inform the important decisions we take; and
- the reasoning that informs our decisions.
Our Guide to Information
This document is the Guide to Information which North Highland College UHI makes available under the classes described in the MPS. It:
- allows the public to see what information is available in relation to each class
- states what charges may be applied
- explains how to find the information easily
- provides contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing the information
- explains how to request information that has not been published.
Alongside FOISA, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs) provides a separate right of access to the environmental information that we hold. The MPS also covers environmental information.
About the Model Publication Scheme
The MPS set out nine broad classes of information, and by adopting it, North Highland College UHI is committing to publishing everything that it holds which falls into the broad description given for each class. The MPS classes are:
- Freedom of Information overview page
- Class 1: About the authority
- General information about North Highland College UHI
- Access to information
- Our constitution
- Corporate planning
- How NHC College UHI is run
- Health and safety
- External and community relations
- Government and regulator relations
- Class 2: How we deliver our functions and services
- Student administration and support
- Teaching quality
- Information services
- Class 3: How we take decisions and what we have decided
- Class 4: What we spend and how we spend it
- Class 5: How we manage our human, physical and information resources
- Human resources
- Physical resources
- Information resource
- Class 6: How we procure goods and services from external providers
- Class 7: How we are performing
- Class 8: Our commercial publications
- Class 9: Open Data
Availability and Format of Information
Most information listed in our Guide to Information is available to download from our website. Often a link within the classes will take you direct to the relevant page or document. If you are still having trouble finding information, please contact the Freedom of Information Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
You can choose to visit our premises to inspect any of the information in this Guide. However it would be helpful if you could call us to make an appointment, so we can ensure you can be dealt with efficiently when you arrive – please contact 018478 89000
If the information you are looking for is listed in our Guide but is not published on our website, you can request it by e-mailing us at email@example.com. We will usually be able to send you the information you are looking for by email. When requesting information from us, please provide a telephone number so that we can call you to clarify details, if necessary.
However we offer alternative arrangements for people who do not want to, or cannot, access the information online (or by inspection at our premises). For example, we can usually arrange to send information to you in paper copy (although there may be a charge for this).
You can also request information by phone. Please call 018478 89000 to request information available under this Guide.
To obtain information listed under the scheme as a printed document or other format by post, please send your request to Freedom of Information Officer, North Highland College, Thurso, Caithness KW14 7EE
When writing to us to request information, please include your name, address and phone number and full details of the information you would like to receive. We may need to phone you to clarify the information you desire.
If a document we publish contains information that is exempt under Scotland’s freedom of information laws (for example sensitive personal information), we may omit the information before publication but we will explain why. Note that information will only be withheld, however, where FOISA expressly permits it. If you wish to complain about any information which has been withheld from you, contact the Freedom of Information Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to access information which is not available under this MPS
Should you wish to request a copy of any information that we hold that is not available under the MPS, please contact Freedom of Information Officer at email@example.com.
The North Highland College UHI holds the copyright for the vast majority of information in this
Publication scheme. All of this information can be copied or reproduced without our formal
Permission, provided it is copied or reproduced accurately, is not used in a misleading context, and provided that the source of the material is identified.
Where the publication scheme contains any information where the copyright holder is a third party, or in cases where the copyright is unclear, it is the responsibility of the person accessing the Information to locate and seek the permission of the copyright holder before reproducing the material or in any other way breaching the rights of the copyright holder. In most cases, the copyright holder will be obvious from the documents.
This section explains when we may make a charge for our publications and how any charge will be calculated. There is no charge to view information on our website or at our premises
We may charge for providing information to you e.g., photocopying and postage, but we will charge you no more than it actually costs us to do so. We will always tell you what the cost is before providing the information to you.
Black and White
Pence Per Sheet
Information provided on CD-Rom will be charged at £1.00 per computer disc. Postage costs will be recharged at the rate we pay to send the information to you.
When providing copies of pre-printed publications, we will charge no more than the cost per copy of the total print run. We do not pass any other costs on to you in relation to our published information.
Charges for information not available under the MPS
If you submit a request to us for information which is not available under the MPS the charges will be based on the following calculations:
- There will be no charge for information requests which cost us £100 or less to process.
- Where information costs between £100 and £600 to provide you may be asked to pay 10% of the cost. That is, if you were to ask for information that cost us £600 to provide, you would be asked to pay £50, that is calculated on the basis of a waiver for the first £100 and 10% of the remaining £500.
- We are not obliged to respond to requests which will cost us over £600 to process.
- In calculating any fee, staff time will be calculated at actual cost per staff member hourly salary rate to a maximum of £15 per person per hour.
- We do not charge for the time used to determine whether we hold the information requested, nor for the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released. However, charges may be made for locating, retrieving and providing information to you.
- In the event that we decide to impose a charge, we will issue you with notification of the charge (a fees notice) and how it has been calculated. You will have three months from the date of issue of the fees notice in which to decide whether to pay the charge. The information will be provided to you on payment of the charge. If you decide not to proceed with the request there will be no charge to you.
Feedback or complaints
We welcome feedback on how we can develop our Guide to Information further. If you have a comment or complaint on any aspect of this Guide, or the Commissioner‘s MPS, please contact NHCQuality@uhi.ac.uk or telephone 018478 89000
Any complaint will be acknowledged within two working days of receipt and we will respond in full within twenty working days. You have legal rights to access information under FOISA and EIRs and a right of appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner if you are dissatisfied with our response. These rights apply only to information requests made in writing* or another recordable format. If you remain dissatisfied with how your request for information has been dealt with, you also have the right to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.
Information relating to your right to appeal is available from the Scottish Information Commissioner's web page at: www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal.
*verbal requests for environmental information are acceptable.
In some of the classes covered by the MPS, information is not published until it is formally approved, a process which may take some time after its initial creation in draft form. This applies especially to minutes of meetings, which are normally not available until approved by the next meeting in the sequence. The relevant timescales are published in the same locations and in the same form that the information will ultimately be published.