Publication Scheme

Last updated: 21 August 2020

Science Council Publication Scheme

The Freedom of Information Act (‘the Act’) requires us to inform members of the public how they can find information that is routinely made available. This publication scheme specifies the categories of information we routinely publish. If the information you want is not routinely available, you can make a request for it under the Act.

Who we are and what we do

The Science Council was established in response to a recommendation from the FSA Triennial Review of its Scientific Advisory Committees, published in March 2016.

Useful links

What we spend and how we spend it

The Committee has no independent budget or expenditure. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) covers the costs for the operation of the Council (including secretariat support, member’s fees and expenses, and administrative costs for meetings and events). These are recorded formally in the accounts of the FSA.

What our priorities are and how we are doing

How we make decisions

Our policies and procedures

Complaints procedure

Most concerns or complaints are best and most quickly resolved by talking to the person or team directly concerned – in this case, the Science Council Secretariat. If your concerns cannot be resolved informally with the person or team concerned, you can make a formal complaint, contacting the Food Standards Agency Complaints Coordinator.

Policies and procedures for recruitment of Science Council members

Science Council Members are not employed by the Food Standards Agency and they do not receive a salary for their work on the Science Council. (They are however entitled to claim expenses and fees for attending meetings and, in some circumstances, for work between meetings. These are set out in the Science Council Code of Practice.

The process for recruitment to the Science Council is in accordance the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Appointments to the Council are not formally subject to all elements of this guidance, but we follow best practice. An Independent Assessor serves on the selection panel and scrutinises the entire process. Members are appointed by the Chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Appointments are initially for a term of three to five years. Subject to the needs of the Council, members may be asked to serve a second term but longer service than this is the exception rather than the rule. All appointments are subject to a 10-year maximum. Appointments to the Council are made in accordance with the principles set out in the Nolan Report on Standards in Public Life, also known as the 7 Principles of Public Life.

The Government has a policy of equality of opportunity for those wishing to serve in public appointments. That means that applications are welcome from all suitable individuals irrespective of, for example, race, gender or disability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and are particularly anxious to address under-representation on advisory committees of women, people from ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

The overriding principle is appointment on merit. Members are appointed for their individual qualifications and the expertise they can bring to the Council and not to represent any particular sectoral interests. The balance of the Council is intended to ensure that it has a wide range of expertise to draw on to enable it to advise the FSA Chief Scientific Adviser and the FSA Board effectively.

Vacancies and further information on procedures for appointments are published on this site when vacancies arise.

How to make a Freedom of Information request

Lists and registers

The services we offer

Administration costs

There is usually no charge for the information we publish unless the request is for a priced publication or dataset. We may, however, be required to charge if, for example, a large amount of photocopying is necessary or to cover the cost of postage for a large quantity of paperwork.