Scottish Commissioner Issues Annual Report

11 March 2011

Scottish public authorities are handling more freedom of information requests and are more likely to disclose information, according to research accompanying publication by the Scottish Information Commissioner of the 2010 Annual Report.

According to a statement:

A survey of FOI officers across Scotland found that over two thirds reported a rise in FOI requests over the past year. The survey also found, however, that 48% felt that their organisation had become more inclined towards disclosure, with only 2% reporting that they had become less inclined to release information in response to requests.

Notwithstanding the survey results, Commissioner Kevin Dunion said in a statement that “there are still many cases where authorities have not been justified in withholding information, even where the information might expose them to criticism or adverse publicity.”

The survey also noted declining resources for FOI response offices.

The commissioner reported that enquiries to his office grew by 12% over the year – and by 38% since 2007. The  the number of appeals, where the commissioner is asked to investigate following the refusal of an information request, remained steady, with a small 3% drop over the last 12 months.

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