Public Petition PE1539: Housing Associations to come under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002


Background and Evidence

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Occasionally, subject Committees have public petitions referred to them by the Public Petitions Committee. These petitions will concern topics covered by the subject Committee's remit.

Petition PE1539 by Anne Booth:

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to make an Order under Section 5 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 to make all housing associations subject to the provisions of that Act. This will ensure that housing associations are more open, transparent and accountable to all their stakeholders, i.e. tenants and factored homeowners.

This petition was referred to the Session 4 Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee by the Public Petitions Committee on 13 May 2015. That Committee's consideration of the petition can be found at the following link:

At its meeting on 6 January 2016, the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee agreed to keep the petition open and to include it in its legacy paper for its successor Committee to consider further in Session 5.

Local Government and Communities Committee Consideration

Following its Business Planning discussions, the Committee wrote to the Scottish Government on 1 September 2016 asking it to provide a timescale for its consultation. The Scottish Government confirmed that it anticipated consulting with the housing sector in late Autumn 2016 for 12 weeks. The Scottish Government confirmed that timescales after that will be dependant on the number of responses to the consultation. Extracts from the letters to the Scottish Government and responses are attached below:

The Committee wrote to the petitioner on with updates on 8 September 2016 and 30 September 2016 and extracts from this correspondence can be found at:

The Scottish Government closed its consultation on extending FOI to registered social landlords on 23 February 2017 and published 71 responses on 23 March 2017. The consultation can be found at:

Committee Meetings

29 March 2017: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government for an update and indicative timescale in relation to the outcome of its consultation and update the petitioner.

The Committee wrote to the Scottish Government on 4 April 2017 requesting an update:

The Scottish Government responded to the Committee's letter of 4 April 2017 on 19 April 2017:

The Scottish Government wrote to the Convener on 29 June 2017 following the publication of an interim report on the key issues raised during the consultation exercise: