The Scottish Government has today (17 November 2008) published a discussion paper on the possible extension of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act. The paper seeks views on whether the Scottish Government should use the powers under section 5 of the FOISA to extend coverage of the Act to:
- Contractors who provide services that are a function of a public authority
- Registered social landlords
- Local authority trusts or bodies set up by local authorities
The Minister for Parliamentary Business, Bruce Crawford explained:
"The organisations we are looking at in terms of coverage have not been chosen at random. They are bodies about whom concerns over a lack of coverage have consistently been raised with us. The concerns may have arisen because of changes in the way public services are delivered - for example the contracting out of services traditionally provided directly by a public authority.Mr Crawford also announced that the Government would be pro-actively publishing Ministerial car travel and diary information. In addition, the Minister announced the publication of the latest Scottish Government Annual Report on request handling.
"Discussions will take place before any decision is taken to formally consult. But formal consultation is not a rubber-stamping exercise. Any extension of coverage needs to be measured and appropriate."
Discussion Paper - Coverage of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
Freedom of Information Annual Report January-December 2007
News release 17/11/08