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Have your say on Freedom of Information legislation

23 January 2023

Have your say on Freedom of Information legislation

A consultation has been launched at the Scottish Parliament on a proposed Freedom of Information Reform (Scotland) Bill by Katy Clark MSP.

It is now over 20 years since the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) came into law, providing public access to information held by public authorities and compelling bodies to publish certain information and enabling members of the public to request it. While community councils are not subject to FOI requests in the same way that local councils are, the legislation will still be of interest due to local authorities’ statutory obligations to community councils around matters such as licensing and planning.

Key proposals include:

  • Extending FOISA coverage to all bodies delivering public services, services of a public nature and publicly funded services
  • Strengthening the enforceable right of access to information
  • A new statutory role of ‘Freedom of Information Officer’ in every designated body
  • Updating the law and ensure compliance with human rights law
  • Providing a legal duty for proactive publication

The Members’ Bill has been developed with the assistance of the Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland, and the consultation on the Scottish Parliament website is open until 14 March 2023.