|The Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland|
Press release: 2 November 2012
Scottish Government must have courage to reform Freedom of Information law
The Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland (CFoIS) today endorsed the Finance Committee’s conclusions, at Stage 1 of the Freedom of Information (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill, calling on the government to bring forward proposals to protect the public’s right to know.
CFoIS is pleased the Committee has listened to its evidence that legal reform must address the increasing number of public services that are being moved outwith the scope of Freedom of Information legislation via private contractors, housing associations, arms-length organisations and voluntary bodies. The Committee has requested that the Scottish Government come forward with fresh proposals at Stage 2. CFoIS believes a ‘purpose’ clause should be added to the Bill and Section 5 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 amended to require all public services be covered by FoI. These two reforms will ensure the public have an enforceable right to access information when public services or services of a public nature are delivered.
CFoIS had called for the proposed absolute exemption for Royal Communications to be dropped and is relieved that the Committee agrees. We believe there is no case to change the current arrangement whereby the existing exemption is subjected to a ‘public interest’ test.
The Committee states:
Carole Ewart, Co-convener of the CFoIS said
For Further Information please contact:
Carole Ewart (Co-Convener - Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland)