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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Thursday, March 7, 2019

Meeting of the Parliament 07 March 2019

Agenda: General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, European Union Settlement Scheme, Portfolio Question Time, Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2019 [Draft], International Women’s Day 2019, Committee Announcement, Decision Time


Committee Announcement

Before we come to decision time, we will have a committee announcement. I am pleased to call Jenny Marra, convener of the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee, to make an announcement on post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.


Presiding Officer, thank you for allowing me to make a committee announcement in my capacity as convener of the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee.

Members might recall that in June 2017 the chamber agreed a motion stating that post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 should be undertaken. I want to bring it to members’ attention that our committee will now be taking forward that important piece of work and that a consultation inviting written views to inform our scrutiny of the act was launched last Friday.

As members know, the 2002 act provides the public with the right of access to information that is held by public bodies, and it has proven to be a valuable tool in that respect. However, the bill for the act was passed in 2002, and the committee wishes to examine in detail whether there are any issues with how freedom of information works in practice and, if so, how best to address such issues. We also intend to consider whether the act can be improved or modernised to increase transparency in Scotland’s public services. It is expected that our committee will report its conclusions towards the end of the year.

We are keen to hear a wide range of views on the 2002 act. I know that many members will have experience of using the legislation, and we are keen to hear about their experiences, both positive and negative. We would also be grateful if members could bring the inquiry to the attention of their constituents or other contacts who might wish to help inform it. I will circulate further information about the call for evidence to members shortly.