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Public favours extension of freedom of information rights

News release
10 December 2008

Research published today [10 December 2008] by the Scottish Information Commissioner reveals that over two thirds of the Scottish population favour extending Scotland’s freedom of information (FOI) laws to cover organisations other than public authorities, such as housing associations and privately run prisons.

The research, which was undertaken by Progressive Scottish Opinion as part of the Commissioner’s annual public awareness survey, found that 66% of people favoured extending the FOI ‘right to information’ to prisons run by the private sector. This figure rose to 69% for housing associations, 73% for trusts providing local authority health and leisure services, 75% for private organisations that build and maintain local authority schools, and 79% for those that build and maintain NHS hospitals.

The publication of the research coincides with a major conference in Edinburgh at which speakers including Bruce Crawford, the Minister for Parliamentary Business, and Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion, will explore issues around extending the right to information. The extension of FOI is currently under consideration by the Scottish Government, which published a discussion paper on the matter in November.

Download the research report and underlying data sets:

Public Awareness Research Report 2008 (242kb)
Public Awareness Research Report 2008 – Data Sets (223kb)

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