When David Holland sought information from the University of East Anglia on their contract with Muir Russell, they refused (see CA here)
The University does not consider that there was a contractual relationship with Sir Muir Russell or the inquiry team; it was by way of a public appointment (as is commonplace in these circumstances).
On the basis of the university’s assertion that Muir Russell was a “public” appointment, David Holland sent an FOI request to the Sir Muir Russell Review Group, Box 18, 196 Rose Street, Edinburgh, which had engaged the services of University of Edinburgh personnel under information obtained from the University of Edinburgh (which appears to have destroyed all records pertaining to the Muir Russell review at the request of one of the parties).
Needless to say, Muir Russell refused the FOI request on the basis that the Sir Muir Russell Review was not a “public authority” subject to FOI or EIR regulations:
Dear Mr Holland
I have received your letter, by email, of 16 April asking me to provide you with information in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
I believe that the ICCER team operated very openly and transparently and that a very substantial amount of information about the Review is in the public domain.
I have however taken advice and I am satisfied that I am not, and the Review Team as a whole is not, a public authority for the purposes either of the 2002 Act or the 2004 Regulations. In the circumstances we are not under any legal obligation to make information concerning the Review available to any person under that legislation.
I appreciate that you may be disappointed with this response and I understand that you may decide to refer the matter to the Scottish Information Commissioner.