167.This schedule lists “Scottish public authorities” for the purposes of the Act. The listing of “The Scottish Ministers” at paragraph 1 covers all Departments of the Scottish Executive, as well as the following agencies:
the Crown Office;
the Fisheries Research Service;
the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency;
the Scottish Court Service;
the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency;
the Scottish Public Pensions Agency;
the Scottish Prison Service; and
the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.
168.The Scottish Parliament, local authorities, non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs), NHS bodies, the Police, and Further and Higher Education institutions are all specified as Scottish public authorities. Further persons or office-holders may be designated by order under sections 4 and 5.
169.This schedule sets out various matters relating to the Scottish Information Commissioner.
170.Paragraph 1 provides that the Commissioner, and his or her staff and property, are independent of the Crown and do not have any status, immunity or privileges of the Crown.
171.Paragraph 2 provides that the Parliamentary corporation may make arrangements for the payment of pensions, allowances or gratuities to former Commissioners (including compensation for loss of office).
172.Paragraph 3 provides that the3 Commissioner may appoint staff, on such terms and conditions as that officer may determine, and(2) may make arrangements for the payment of pensions, allowances or gratuities to former members of staff (including compensation for loss of employment). However, the Commissioner will require the approval of the (4)Parliamentary corporation in these matters.
173.Paragraph 4 provides that the Commissioner, or a member of his or her staff, will be designated by the Parliamentary corporation as accountable officer for the office of the Commissioner. The functions of the accountable officer are to sign accounts, ensure propriety and regularity of finances, and ensure that resources are used economically, efficiently and effectively. The accountable officer is answerable to the Parliament for the exercise of the functions provided for under this paragraph.
174.Paragraph 5 provides that the Commissioner must prepare and keep accounts, in accordance with any directions the Scottish Ministers may give, and send a copy of the annual accounts to the Auditor General for Scotland for auditing. The Commissioner’s audited accounts must be made publicly available, subject to certain conditions. The Commissioner’s financial year runs from 1st April to 31st March.
175.The Commissioner is provided with powers in paragraph 6 to do anything which appears necessary or expedient for the purpose of, or in connection with, or which appears conducive to, the exercise of the functions of the Commissioner, and in particular may acquire or dispose of land and other property, and enter into contracts.
176.This schedule sets out the circumstances in which the Commissioner, where that officer suspects a contravention of the Act, may seek a warrant enabling that officer to enter and search premises and seize material.
Schedule 4 – Consequential amendments to Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 (introduced by section 71(2))
177.This schedule adds the Commissioner to the scope of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 and provides for the exchange of information between the Ombudsman and the Commissioner.