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Holyrood Annual FOI Conference 2009  - 'A new openness in challenging times?'

The Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh

8 December 2009

 The Commissioner is supporting the 7th Annual Freedom of Information Conference, organised by Holyrood Conferences in December 2009. 

It may be 5 years since FOI Law came into force in Scotland, but arguably, FOI has never been as topical or relevant as it is today.  The MP expenses controversy, which resulted from a number of FOI requests, commanded headlines for much of the year.  Closer to home, the future of FOI laws in Scotland has been actively under review throughout 2009, as Ministers consider expanding coverage of the Act, and the Government's public sector reform agenda makes it ever more important the Scotland's public sector is transparent about how it delivers value for money.

What is the conference about this year?

FOI law in Scotland is constantly evolving - debate around the future of the Act is a process not an event - and rightly so.  The Holyrood Conference has traditionally provided a unique annual opportunity to hear what Ministers and the Commissioner have to say about critical developments in Scotland - and an opportunity to contribute views.

This year, the plenary sessions will explore what's next for FOI in Scotland, and whether 'FOI for all' is a realistic aspiration.  Keynote speakers include the Commissioner, Minister for Parliamentary Business Bruce Crawford MSP and Lord Wallace of Tankerness, who introduced the FOI Bill when he was Deputy First Minister.

However the conference will also be addressed by practitioners and legal professionals who have experience in using FOI and campaigning for openness and transparency - including BBC Scotland Health Correspondent Eleanor Bradford, Francis Irving from and Fiona Killen, Partner at Anderson Strathern.

New practical masterclasses

This year there will be a series of hands-on workshops to provide practical tips for FOI practitioners and campaigners - this is in direct response to feedback from previous conferences.

Who would be interested in attending?

The conference aims to have a wide appeal, but will be particularly interesting to you if you are an FOI or DP practitioner, a voluntary sector or campaign body, a policy-maker, a member of the legal profession or an academic.

You can see the full agenda, and details of Holyrood's fees and how to book, on the Holyrood Conferences website. 


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