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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Meeting of the Parliament 27 June 2017

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Business Motions, Topical Question Time, European Union Negotiations and Scotland’s Future, NHS Ayrshire and Arran Maternity Services (Review of Management of Adverse Events), Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Information Commissioner, Decision Time, Online Exploitation and Abuse of Children


Scottish Information Commissioner

The next item of business is consideration of motion S5M-06278, in the name of Margaret Mitchell, on behalf of the selection panel, on the appointment of the Scottish Information Commissioner.


As a member of the cross-party selection panel that was established under our standing orders, I will move the motion in my name, which invites members to nominate Daren Fitzhenry to Her Majesty the Queen for appointment as the Scottish Information Commissioner.

The selection panel was chaired by the Presiding Officer, and the other members were Clare Adamson, David Stewart and Andy Wightman. Louise Rose, the independent assessor, oversaw the process and has provided the Parliament with a validation certificate confirming that the process complied with good practice and that the nomination is made on merit after a fair, open and transparent process.

As members will be aware, the role of the Scottish Information Commissioner is to enforce and promote Scotland’s freedom of information regime, which gives people anywhere in the world access to information that is held by more than 10,000 public authorities in Scotland. The commissioner’s role is important, as it supports the openness, transparency and accountability of public bodies.

I turn now to our nominee, Daren Fitzhenry, who was the unanimous choice of the panel from a strong field of candidates called to interview. Daren is currently a senior legal officer in the Royal Air Force legal branch, and he heads up its legal advisory team. He is an LLM graduate of the University of Glasgow and has worked as a solicitor in private practice and public service. His experience in the development, implementation and application of regulatory systems, legislation and international arrangements is extensive, and his wide portfolio of legal practice has included the application of a freedom of information regime.

I believe that Daren will be an enthusiastic and effective commissioner, who will ensure that Scotland remains a respected world leader in openness and transparency. I am sure that the Parliament will want to wish Daren every success in his new role.

I move,

That the Parliament nominates Daren Fitzhenry to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as the Scottish Information Commissioner under section 42 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.