Thursday, October 06, 2005

Scotland roundup

Scottish Executive
"More than two thirds of Scots are aware of new rules under the Freedom of Information Act nine months after its introduction, a special conference in Edinburgh was told today.Minister for Parliamentary Business Margaret Curran said:
"FOI has already given people the opportunity to find out more about their local schools, hospitals and councils and the feed back to date is generally positive."

"We will also be reviewing whether there is still a need for the Ministerial certificate exempting certain G8 related information from FOI on grounds of national security.

"The review being proposed will allow individuals and public bodies to express views on any aspect of the operation of the new regime, in particular the operation of the fees, public bodies that are or should be within the scope of the legislation and whether there is a continuing need for a Ministerial certificate protecting certain G8 related information"

Read the news release

From the Scottish IC
-The second wave of the Commissioner's TV advertising campaign will be launched on 5 September and will run for 6 weeks. The initial showing in February and March of this year contributed to a sharp rise in public awareness about freedom of information. This time the advert carries a freephone number, inviting viewers to call for a new information pack. The pack provides more information about the public's rights under the legislation and includes sample request, review and appeal letters. Further stocks of the Your Right to Know leaflets and booklets have also been distributed widely to coincide with the advertising.
(interesting contrast to the delay to the campaign in the UK)

-A new technical investigations procedure note was added to our investigation procedures on 1 August 2005 for cases where a technical breach appears to have taken place

Scotsman - Scots may face rise in cost of digging out information
"NEW charges could be levied on Scots seeking documents under freedom of information legislation, the Scottish Executive has revealed..It is already clear that some lessons could be learned, for example, on the operation of the fee structure and what bodies are covered by the act. Last night a spokeswoman for Ms Curran said the minister had not ruled out a flat rate charge for all freedom of information requests, though that was unlikely as it might deter members of the public."

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