Extracts from the accompanying news release:
"Highlights of the report include:Read the Annual Report
Kevin Dunion, the Scottish Information Commissioner, said, “Our own freedom of information law is one of the strongest in the world in terms of its provisions, and reflecting upon the second full year of operation of the legislation, most public authorities have risen to the challenges presented to them and the public is increasingly confident that their requests will be handled appropriately. We have seen further examples of public authorities releasing information into the public domain that previously would not have been available.
- The Scottish Information Commissioner has received 1082 appeals in the two years since the inception of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (including 511 appeals in 2006) – twice as many applications as the Information Commissioner in England and Wales. By the end of 2006 he had completed 781 cases, with 326 decisions covering 350 separate applications. 328 applications were closed without investigation and 103 settled or withdrawn.
- Applications to the Commissioner concern a range of subjects, from safety and crime, planning and property, administration and finance, health, environment, transport and education.
- Public awareness of the FOI has increased to 72 per cent from 47 per cent in 2005
- 65 per cent of appeals came from ordinary members of the public
- 236 decision notices issued by the Commissioner
- The Court of Session has upheld the Commissioner’s decisions in all four of the appeals it has considered so far
“However, whilst there is much to celebrate, there are still significant areas for improvement and we cannot afford to be complacent. I will be commissioning research in 2007 to look beyond the response to individual requests for information to find out whether authorities are changing how they record, retain and publish information.”"
"The Commissioner said, “The public recognise that FOISA is a powerful tool and the indications are that they are seeing the benefits of it. People are confident that more information will come into the public domain as a result and fewer believe authorities can get round the Act. However, people still remain to be convinced that Scottish public authorities are changing culture to become more open and accountable. FOI in Scotland has been a major success, but we cannot be complacent – our experience is still very new.”"
Finally free to throw open the files - The Herald
Welcome to secret Scotland - Scotsman
Information Act hailed a success - BBC