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PE01512: Amendments to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Parliament Government

Petitioner: Bill Chisholm

Status:
Closed

Date Lodged: 04 April 2014

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to strengthen the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 202 by requiring public bodies to provide full and accurate information in all responses to FOI requesters, and to extend the powers of the Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC) to enable the Commissioner to investigate complaints alleging erroneous responses. The SIC should also be able to impose monetary penalties on any public body which breaches the amended FOISA regulations on accuracy.

Petition History:

Summary:

22 April 2014: The Committee took evidence from Bill Chisholm, and Lisa Brown. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Information Commissioner and the Scottish Government. The Committee also agreed to invite the Scottish Information Commissioner to give evidence at a future meeting. Link to Official Report 22 April 2014 (430KB pdf)

6 May 2014: The Committee took evidence from Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Information Commissioner, and Sarah Hutchison, Head of Policy and Information, Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner. The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the petition to a future meeting to allow time for the Scottish Government to respond and to enable the petitioner to comment on evidence received. Link to Official Report 6 May 2014 (434KB pdf)

30 September 2014: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the Scottish Government has stated it shares the view of the Scottish Information Commissioner that the changes being proposed are not needed and would be unworkable. Link to Official Report 30 September 2014 (509KB pdf)

Written Submissions:

It surely cannot be acceptable that our public bodies in Scotland are under no obligation to demonstrate honesty when responding to Freedom of Information requests. The lack of adequate legislation means authorities are at liberty to pull the wool over our eyes by being “economical with the truth” or through obfuscation. This petition seeks to strengthen the law and thereby remove their comfortable “safety net” by ordering them to supply accurate answers at all times.

Same complaint time after time about regulators failing to properly regulate and people wonder why this country is in the state that it finds itself today!

Ji Sco

16:41 on 02 Apr 2014

A Health Board claimed that it would be too expensive to find out and report how many times people had been sedated after being forcibly restrained. They had previously reported about 50 incidences of restraint. It shouldn't be too expensive to look through the cases they had already identified, to identify a sub-set of data. It makes one wonder what information they are hiding.

Alastair Lings

10:34 on 25 Mar 2014

I think it is about time that those secretive organisations who have been exposed by the State Broadcaster who are effectively State Regulators are forced to be transparent and accountable for their actions, like the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal

Sam Smith

23:05 on 20 Mar 2014

It is a nonsense that Freedom of Information can effectively be Freedom of Misinformation without any sanction being imposed on the Provider.

Colin McNab

11:54 on 13 Mar 2014

All information held by Public Owned Bodies, i.e. Council, Government, Political Parties, Companies should be made freely available immediately without the need for FOI's

Graeme Houston

5:45 on 10 Mar 2014

I agree with the substance and merit of this petition.

JOHN A SAMPSON

17:14 on 06 Mar 2014

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