Holyrood committee asks if Freedom of Information Act can be improved

A Holyrood committee is looking for a wide range of views on the effectiveness of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

The Scottish Parliament’s public audit and post-legislative scrutiny committee launched a public consultation on the Act following concerns about compliance and scope.

The purpose of the Act is to provide the public with access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways: public authorities are required to set out the information that they will publish and members of the public are entitled to request information from these public authorities.

Earlier this month the Scottish Government announced that housing associations in Scotland will come under the Act from November this year.

Public audit and post-legislative scrutiny committee convener, Jenny Marra MSP, said: “Our committee wants to hear a wide range of views on the Freedom of Information Act and whether it can be improved.

“We want to examine how FOI works in practice and if the Act can be modernised or improved to increase transparency in our public services.”

The committee would like to hear views on the following…

  1. In your view, what effects has the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) had, both positive and negative?
  2. Have the policy intentions of FOISA been met and are they being delivered? If not, please give reasons for your response.
  3. Are there any issues in relation to the implementation of and practice in relation to FOISA? If so, how should they be addressed?
  4. Could the legislation be strengthened or otherwise improved in any way? Please specify why and in what way.
  5. Are there any other issues you would like to raise in connection with the operation of FOISA? 

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