Scotland Plans to Expand FOI to Cover Prisons, Schools

13 January 2016

The Scottish government ministers is planning to extend the scope of the freedom of information laws law to nonpublic sector bodies delivering public services, according to an announcement and media reports such as one in Holyrood.

As a result, contractors such as those who run Scotland’s two private prisons would be subject to FOI requests as will certain schools. The change can be made via a government order.

The government said there are “persuasive arguments” that housing associations also should be covered but announced a further consultation on that point.

Scottish Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew, who had recommended the change said: “Extension to these organisations will give the public a right to information about performance, standards and how public money is spent.  It will also place a duty on organisations to publish information proactively.

Agnew said, “We are pleased about the further extension of FOI, and hope this current order is simply the next in a series.”

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