Improving access to public information
Consultation on reform launches.
The public and organisations are being asked to give their views on improving access to information about public services.
The Access to Information Rights in Scotland consultation aims to gather views and evidence on what information rights should look like.
This includes whether additional third sector bodies and private businesses should be brought within the scope of existing freedom of information (FOI) legislation, if they carry out work for the public sector or receive public funds, as well as what information should be published proactively by Government and public services. The consultation also looks at whether guidance on the use of different technology platforms should be introduced.
Minister for Parliamentary Business George Adam yesterday said:
“Scotland has the most robust FOI laws in the UK.
“We want to build on this further by engaging with people and organisations on the development of information rights. We want to understand how existing legislation affects the work of civil society groups and public bodies.
“The responses to the consultation will inform our work to improve FOI rules and deliver on the Scottish Government’s commitment to openness and transparency.
“I would urge those with experience of FOI, whether as requesters, public authorities or as partners of public authorities to respond to the consultation and let us know your concerns and experiences.”
Access to Information Rights in Scotland: A Consultation. The deadline for responding is Tuesday 14 March.
During the 2016 to 2021 session of the Scottish Parliament, the Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee reviewed existing FOI legislation. The Scottish Government responded to the Committee’s report on 25 February 2021.
Relative to the rest of the UK, Scotland’s FOI legislation has a higher bar for the application of a number of exemptions and a higher upper cost limit. In addition, there is no latitude to extend response timescales.
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