22 March 2022 | Our Business
FOISA Response No. 742 – complaints process
Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
This response addressed the following query:
“Can you give me the details for your complaints process, who oversees PIRC, how to make a SAR and FOI or equivalents and what is available to me for compensation or similar.”
The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.
I can confirm that we hold the majority of this information.
Details of out complaints process is attached to this email. Information on the management structure of PIRC and how to submit an information request under the Data Protection Act 2018 or the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is included below. Finally, PIRC does not offer compensation or similar as a result of upheld complaints either against the Police or PIRC itself. I suggest you take legal advice if you wish to pursue this.
Management Structure of PIRC
The organisation is led by the Commissioner, Michelle Macleod and Phil Chapman is the Director of Operations.
The Senior Management Team is supported by the following Heads of Department:
Head of Investigations – John McSporran
Head of Reviews and Policy – Ilya Zharov
Head of Corporate Services – Sharon Smit
Corporate Governance is overseen by our Audit and Accountability Committee, and we also report to the Justice Directorate of the Scottish Government from whom we receive our funding.
Complaints about our organisation can be made via email or post, however before doing so we would encourage you to familiarise yourself with the definition of a service complaint. Details of our complaints process is attached alongside this letter.
Submitting an Information Request
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 gives you the right to access official information held by public authorities. The Act also requires Scottish public bodies to produce and maintain a publication scheme.
A publication scheme is:
- A commitment to make information routinely available, without waiting for someone to specifically request it.
- A guide to the information we publish, or intend to publish - not limited to printed information, but including other formats, such as electronic.
- A means of enabling you to understand better what information is available to you and how to access the information you seek.
The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner has adopted the Model Publication Scheme produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner. This scheme forms the basis of the PIRC Guide to Information.
The purpose of the PIRC Guide to Information is to:
- Allow you to see what information is available and what is not available.
- State what charges may be applied for information requests.
- Explain how to find the information easily.
- Provide contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing the information.
- Explain how to request information we hold that has not been published.
- View the full PIRC Guide to Information. Alternatively contact us and we will post a copy to you.
If you wish to access information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, which is not available under our publication scheme, you must make your request in writing or in any form that can be kept for future use, for example, an audio recording or video tape. Please send your request to:
Police Investigations & Review Commissioner
Hamilton Business Park
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as amended by the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) gives you rights to request and receive your own personal data. A request for your personal information is called a Subject Access Request.
The PIRC will consider your request in accordance with the requirements of the GDPR/DPA. As a request under the DPA is for personal information we may ask for proof of identity. You can also use the Subject Access Request form available on our website at https://pirc.scot/about-us/our-organisation/freedom-of-information-data-protection/ and send it to:
Hamilton Business Park