Sepa quietly scrapped 1,000 information requests

Author: Paul Dobson in The Ferret

Nearly 1,000 unanswered information requests have been binned by the Scottish Government’s environmental watchdog without requesters being told.
The Ferret has learned that in March 2023, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) closed 893 unanswered freedom of information (FoI) requests which were submitted before 9 January 2023. The body also closed 92 unresolved formal reviews requested by members of the public who were unhappy with the way their FoIs were handled.
The decision was sanctioned by the Scottish Information Commissioner, Daren Fitzhenry – who enforces freedom of information law – and was aimed at dealing with a backlog of requests caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a criminal cyber attack on Sepa.
But Sepa has confirmed to The Ferret that, although it published details of the decision to close the FoIs on a section of its website in March, it did not inform people individually that their requests were not going ahead.

Picture: Community groups have been trying to keep the shore clean in Dumbarton.


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