News In Focus
Extensions proposed to Freedom of Information Act
The Scottish Government has launched its new consultation on the scope of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act.
The consultation seeks to establish whether the statutory right of access to information should be widened to cover a greater range of bodies that deliver public services in Scotland.
The organisations under consideration for extending the Act are:
- trusts and bodies established by local authorities with responsibility for providing leisure, sport and cultural services;
- private prison operators running Addiewell and Kilmarnock prisons, and with the private contractor providing prisoner escort services;
- Glasgow Housing Association, which is unique in its scale and public profile and the level of interest that it attracts;
- Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland – the collective organisation of senior police from the eight forces across Scotland;
- private contractors who build and/or maintain schools and hospitals, and those who operate and maintain trunk roads across Scotland.
Minister for Parliamentary Business Bruce Crawford said: “The Scottish Government is committed to the principles that underpin freedom of information (FOI) legislation. These principles of openness and transparency are essential parts of open democratic government, nowhere more so than in following the expenditure of public money.
“At this stage the Scottish Government has not reached firm conclusions on which bodies it might be appropriate to extend coverage to.
“A key part of the consultation will be our examination of any possible costs associated with any extension of coverage. The Government is committed to increasing sustainable economic growth and will only introduce legislation that is measured and proportionate.”
The consultation process will run for 14 weeks until 2 November.
Click here to access the consultation.