Freedom of Information

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Freedom of Information

To contact MG ALBA regarding a freedom of information request, contact



MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (Gaelic Media Service), which was established under the Communications Act 2003 and originally incorporated under the Broadcasting Act 1990 as the Gaelic Television Committee.

The digital media partnership of MG ALBA and the BBC provides an integrated Gaelic television, radio and online service. The partnership is governed by a Joint Management Board, comprising representatives of MG ALBA and BBC Scotland.

Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives the public a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. The term “public authority” is defined in the Act and includes all public bodies and government departments in the UK.

Application of the Act to MG ALBA

Significantly, MG ALBA is only covered by the Act for some purposes of its work. The Act provides that for MG ALBA, in common with various broadcasters, the provisions of the Act only apply “in respect of information held for purposes other than those of journalism, art and literature”. This means that the Act does not apply to material held for the purposes of creating programmes or material which supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.

Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

To exercise your right of access under the Act, you should:

  • make your request in writing (e-mail or letter);
  • address your request to: MG ALBA, Seaforth Road, Stornoway HS1 2SD. E-mail:;
  • provide your name and address to allow MG ALBA to be able to respond to your request;
  • describe in as much detail as possible the information that you require to allow MG ALBA to be able to identify and locate it; and
  • confirm your preferred method for receiving the information (e.g. paper copy, e-mail, disc).

MG ALBA will respond to requests for information within 20 working days from the date of receipt.


Any requests for information concerning the collaboration between MG ALBA and the BBC in relation to the running or management of BBC ALBA, the free-to-air Gaelic television and online service, should be addressed to BBC Scotland, whose responsibility it will be, jointly with MG ALBA, to agree the appropriateness of content and final version of any response. You will find the BBC’s freedom of information scheme at

Requests about BBC ALBA

To exercise your right of access under the Act, you should:

  • make your request in writing (e-mail, letter or fax);
  • address your request to: BBC Scotland, Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1DA. E-mail: Fax: 020 8008 2398;
  • provide your name and address so we can respond to your request;
  • describe in as much detail as possible the information that you require so we can identify and locate it; and
  • confirm your preferred method for receiving the information (e.g. paper copy, e-mail, disc).


It is our policy to be as open as possible. However, under the Act, all public authorities have the right to withhold certain types of information. The list of exemptions and guidance on how they apply can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website at this link.
These exemptions may be applicable in addition to the specific exclusion in relation to information held for the purposes of “journalism, art and literature”.

In some circumstances, information we make publicly available is contained in documents which also include material that is excluded from the scope of the Act. (For example, our Annual Report includes information about the way in which MG ALBA is run and information held for the purposes of “journalism, art and literature”). Where we can, we try to provide access to selected documents of this type, even if they include material which is not within the scope of the Act.

Where we are unable to disclose information due to an exemption under the Act, we will issue as much information from any particular document as possible, highlighting where information has been withheld and the nature of the exemption that applies.

Publication Schemes

MG ALBA, along with all other public authorities in the UK, has a legal duty under the Act to adopt and maintain a publication scheme.

The Act states that the publication scheme should specify:

  • the classes of information a public authority publishes or intends to publish;
  • how the information will be published; and
  • whether or not a charge will be made for the information.

The aim of this scheme is to provide a comprehensive guide to the information MG ALBA makes available and, wherever possible, to provide an easy method to access this information.

This scheme is published in Gaelic and English, and large print versions in both languages are also available. This scheme will be made available on the MG ALBA website and also by means of a hard copy for those who do not have access to the internet. To be sent a hard copy of this scheme please contact MG ALBA.

Charges which may be made for information published under this scheme

Material which is published and accessed on a website will be provided free of charge (i.e. there is no charge by us, although the user would of course have to meet any charges imposed by their Internet Service Provider and any personal printing costs).

For those without internet access, or where information is not published on our website, single copy print outs will generally be available free of charge. In certain circumstances (e.g. multiple print-outs and where information is provided in non-paper and non-electronic format) charges may be made for information subject to a charging regime prescribed under the Act.

Charges may be made for actual expenses incurred such as:

  • photocopying;
  • retrieval of archived documents;
  • postage and packaging;
  • providing information in non-paper or non-electronic format; and
  • the costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information.

If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment may be required prior to provision of the information that has been requested.

The method by which information published under this scheme will be made available

Where it is within our capability, we will always try to publish information on our website. Where information is not available on our website or if you do not wish to access information in that way you should contact MG ALBA with your request for information and we can provide the information by e-mail, hard copy or in another format. Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with this scheme.

The copyright in this scheme and all information made available under its terms belongs to MG ALBA unless otherwise indicated. Such information may be downloaded, where available on the website, or reproduced for personal use without formal permission, but should not be reproduced, copied or republished for sale or other commercial purposes, or modified or transmitted by any means.

Review and Feedback

MG ALBA will review this scheme at regular intervals and monitor how effectively it is operating.

MG ALBA wants this scheme to meet users’ needs and welcomes your comments and feedback. Please send your comments to:

How to make a complaint

If you are not satisfied with the help offered to access information within MG ALBA’s publication scheme, you should contact:

Donald Campbell, Chief Executive
Seaforth Road
Stornoway HS1 2SD

If you are still not satisfied, you can seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. Further information is available by contacting:

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Classes of Information

MG ALBA’s publication scheme makes the following classes of information available.


1. Who we are and what we do
This class consists of current organisational information, locations and contacts, and constitutional and legal governance.

1.1 Roles and responsibilities

  • Statutory remit of MG ALBA
  • Board members and Chairman
  • Senior staff

1.2 Organisational structure

  • Structure and responsibilities of Board and committees

1.3 Legislation relevant to MG ALBA’s functions

1.4 Information about the partnership between MG ALBA and the BBC for the running of BBC ALBA, the Gaelic digital service.

1.5 Locations of, and contact details for, MG ALBA


2. What we spend and how we spend it
This class consists of financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.

2.1 Financial Statement, budgets

2.2 Capital programme

2.3 Spending reviews

2.4 Financial audit reports

2.5 Staff and board members’ allowances and expenses

2.6 Pay and grading structures

2.7 Procurement procedures

2.8 Lists of contracts awarded and their value

2.9 Internal financial regulations


3. What our priorities are and how we are doing

This class comprises information about strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

3.1 Annual report

3.2 Performance reports to Parliament

3.3 Inspection reports

3.4 Impact assessments

3.5 Service standards

3.6 Statistics produced in accordance with organisational requirements

3.7 Public service agreements


4. How we make decisions

This class consists of information relating to policy proposals and decisions, decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.

4.1 Minutes of senior-level meetings

4.2 Reports and papers provided for consideration at senior-level meetings

4.3 Internal communications guidance, criteria used for decision-making, internal instructions, manuals and guidelines e.g. submissions process, training grants, etc.


5. Our policies and procedures

This class comprises information about current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.

5.1 Policies and procedures for conducting the organisation’s business

5.2 Policies and procedures for delivering our services

5.3 Policies and procedures for recruiting and employing staff

5.4 Customer service

5.5 Records management and personal data policies

5.6 Charging regimes and policies


6. Lists and registers

This class comprises information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority.

6.1 Public registers and registers held as public records

6.2 Asset registers and information asset register

6.3 Disclosure logs

6.4 Register of gifts and hospitality provided to senior personnel

6.5 Any register of interests kept in the department

6.6 Other lists required by law


7. The services we offer

This class consists of information relating to advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases and a description of the services offered.

7.1 Information about the services the department provides including leaflets, guidance and newsletters.

7.2 Services for industry

7.3 Services for other organisations

7.4 Services for members of the public

7.5 Services for which the organisation is entitled to recover a fee, together with those fees

7.6 Leaflets, booklets and newsletters

7.7 Advice and guidance

7.8 Media releases


Please note that the information published under this scheme will generally not include:

  • information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure;
  • information in draft form; or
  • information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.