Scotland reviews expansion of FOI laws to include commercial suppliers

Citizens invited to submit responses

Credit: Government of Alberta/Public domain

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on whether Freedom of Information laws should be expanded to include commercial and third-sector organisations.

Currently the legislation only applies to public bodies, but the review is seeking input on whether it should also include organisations that carry out work for the public sector or receive public funds.

The consultation will also canvass opinion on what information the government should proactively publish on public services and whether guidance on the use of different technology platforms should be introduced. 

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“Scotland has the most robust FOI laws in the UK,” said Scottish Government minister for parliamentary business George Adam. “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.”

The consultation, which was announced during the Freedom of Information conference hosted this week by PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, will remain open for response until 14 March 2023.


Sam Trendall

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