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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S6M-03807

Celebrating Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act at 20 Years

Submitted by: Katy Clark, West Scotland, Scottish Labour.
Date lodged: Thursday, March 31, 2022

Supported by: Jackie Baillie, Miles Briggs, Alexander Burnett, Donald Cameron, Foysol Choudhury, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Pam Duncan-Glancy, Russell Findlay, Pam Gosal, Rhoda Grant, Richard Leonard, Paul O'Kane, Willie Rennie, Graham Simpson, Colin Smyth, Paul Sweeney, Mercedes Villalba, Martin Whitfield, Beatrice Wishart
Current status: Achieved cross-party support

That the Parliament welcomes the Freedom of Information (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill, drafted by the Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland; recognises that 28 May 2022 marks 20 years since the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FoISA) received Royal Assent; is pleased that the law has provided people and organisations, including in the West Scotland region, with a free, enforceable right to access information held by public authorities, and considers that opening up the decision-making process, knowing who and what information informs decisions, and how public money is spent are fundamental to ensuring a fair and equal society; believes, however, that FoISA has failed to keep pace with information management and changes in how publicly funded services are delivered, and notes the view in the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee inquiry report on FoISA, published in May 2020, that "there is a clear need to improve the legislation, particularly in respect of the bodies that it covers and in relation to proactive publication"; acknowledges the polling results published by the Scottish Information Commissioner indicating that enforceable legal rights regarding access to information are popular with the public, and notes the calls to ensure that access to information rights are robust and fit for purpose, and to expedite the necessary legal reform.