New resources to support the voluntary sector in using Scotland's freedom of information (FOI) laws have been launched today [Monday 9 March] by the Scottish Information Commissioner. The resources include a web-portal for voluntary sector organisations with advice and guidance on how to make use of the FOI 'right to information', and an enquiry service providing one-to-one support. Information available includes advice on framing information requests to public authorities, as well as examples of the wide range of information that can be requested.Resources for the voluntary sector
The new web-portal also features helpful examples of past use of FOI laws by voluntary organisations, which illustrate how FOI can be of real benefit to the sector. These examples include details of requests made by the NSPCC to access previously unpublished data on the number of recorded sex offences involving children, and information on a campaign by Inclusion Scotland to gather data from Scottish local authorities on the provision of accessible and affordable housing for people with disabilities.
The launch of the new resource coincides with the publication of the Scottish Information Commissioner's Annual Report for 2008. In the report, Commissioner Kevin Dunion sets out the key future priorities for his Office, including a three-year research partnership with the University of Strathclyde to explore the use of FOI by Scotland's voluntary sector.
The Commissioner's enquiry service is available on 01334 464610, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.