This includes whether additional third sector bodies and private businesses should be brought within the scope of existing freedom of information (FOI) legislation, if they carry out work for the public sector or receive public funds, as well as what information should be published proactively by the Scottish Government and public services. The consultation also looks at whether guidance on the use of different technology platforms should be introduced.
This consultation follows the work of the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee (PAPLS) in the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament, to undertake post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
The Committee’s report was published on 19 May 2020. The Scottish Government provided its formal response to the Committee’s report on 25 February 2021. In that response the Government accepted the Committee’s central recommendation that there should be a consultation to seek the views of a wider set of stakeholders on the need for future legislative change, taking the Committee’s recommendations as its starting point.
The consultation is split into four sections, reflecting the themes of the Committee’s report:
agility of the regime – maintaining and strengthening access to information rights in the context of varied models of service delivery
developments in information technology – ensuring access to information rights in the face of changing modes of information use
improving proactive publication – promoting openness as ‘business as usual’ in a digital age
technical and other issues – ensuring the Act remains fit for purpose