Policy on handling written submissions

  1. Policy on handling written submissions This policy applies to all written submissions made to the Commission on devolving further powers to the Scottish Parliament, whether submitted in writing (hard copy) or by e-mail (electronically), and explains how the Commission will handle those submissions.
  2. Although the Commission is not a public authority for the purposes of freedom of information legislation, it is committed to a general policy of openness in its work, and therefore expects to publish most of the submissions it has received. (Publication means publication on the Commission’s website and/or in hard copy.)
  3. The Commission does not guarantee to publish every submission received. In particular, submissions that are judged to fall outside the Commission’s remit (in whole or in part) may not be published (or not published in full). We may also decide not to publish submissions that are identical or substantially similar to submissions already received (although we will note how many submissions were received where that is the case). Submissions that are judged to be trivial or facetious, or that include statements that could be regarded as offensive or defamatory, may also not be published, or may be edited prior to publication. The final decision on publication rests with the Commission.
  4. All submissions may be subject to re-formatting and/or minor editing (typographical errors, grammar, punctuation) prior to publication.
  5. In order to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Commission will not publish with any submission personal data (other than, in most cases, the name of the person making the submission). Signatures and personal contact information (e.g. home telephone numbers, e-mail addresses) will be removed prior to publication.
  6. Submissions should, wherever possible, avoid including information which could be used to identify another living person who has not specifically given their consent to have information about them made public. Where such information is included, we may have to remove it prior to publication.
  7. If you wish your submission to be treated as confidential, or to be published only anonymously, this request should be marked clearly on the submission (or in a covering letter or e-mail). If in doubt, please contact the Commission Secretariat – if possible before sending in the submission itself.
  8. The Commission will normally agree to respect any request for confidentiality or anonymity. In relation to confidentiality, this means the Secretariat making the submission available only to the Commission and to the ten appointed political nominees, making clear its confidential status. Where the request is for anonymity, this means the Secretariat ensuring the author’s name is not included when the submission is made available to the Commission or to the ten appointed political nominees or when it is published.