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UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021

Information notices
Section 24 - Power to require information

113.Section 24 gives powers to Environmental Standards Scotland to require information from a public authority. It is expected that, in the vast majority of instances, information will be supplied by public authorities under the general co-operation duty at section 23. However, this power enables Environmental Standards Scotland to require the provision of information in the unusual event that a public authority is for some reason not willingly providing it.

114.Section 24 therefore provides that, for the purpose of fulfilling its functions, Environmental Standards Scotland may issue a written ‘information notice’ to a public authority requiring it to provide such information as Environmental Standards Scotland reasonably requires. Subsection (2) sets out the details to be specified within the information notice. This will allow a formal record to be created between the public authority and Environmental Standards Scotland. Subsection (3) allows Environmental Standards Scotland to withdraw an information notice by writing to the public authority to whom the information notice was issued, for example if it decided that no further investigation of the particular matter was necessary. Subsection (4) defines ‘information’ for the purposes of section 24.

Section 25 - Failure to comply with an information notice

115.Section 25 provides for the enforcement of information notices. It is expected that this step will be taken extremely rarely. However, it is a necessary underpinning of Environmental Standards Scotland’s functions.

116.This section allows Environmental Standards Scotland to report to the Court of Session any case where a public authority fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with an information notice. Following receipt of such a report, and consideration of any evidence or representations on the matter, the Court may make an order for enforcement or take the matter forward as if it were a contempt of the Court, or both.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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