Scottish Minister Offers Extension of FOI Law

10 June 2013

The Scottish government has proposed that the freedom of information law should cover cultural, sports and leisure services set up by local authorities.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats called the move “too timid” and Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew suggested a broader approach.

Debate about covering private organizations that perform functions for the government has been at the core of the debate over FOI reform in Scotland in recent years. Liberal Democratic party leader Willie Rennie said “This only deals with a micro-fraction of the range of bodies that should be subject to freedom of information laws,” according to a BBC report.

“There has been a dramatic reduction in the public’s right to know since the SNP came to power because of the drift to outside bodies running public services.”

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier this year announced a consultation on the topic and the information commissioner intends to issue a report, according to an article in The Scotsman.

“This is a timid response to a demand for open government,” he said. “This only deals with a micro-fraction of the range of bodies that should be subject to Freedom of Information laws.

Similar objections were voiced over modifications to the law passed earlier this year. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

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