News and Commentary from the Scottish Information Commissioner
                                    Update from the Scottish Information Commissioner
 
New seminar announced

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The Centre for FOI Spring 2012 Programme continues on Wednesday 30 May 2012, 2pm to 4pm (1pm for buffet lunch) at Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Balfour Street Dundee DD1 4HN

FOI ? Time to change? Implications north and south of the border

The role and nature of FOI is under close scrutiny both north and south of the border.  The current post-legislative review of FOI in Westminster is well under way, with hot topics of debate including:

  • the "burden" of FOI
  • open government and FOI
  • exemptions and the public interest test
  • charging
  • the relationship between requesters and authorities.

Change is also being contemplated in Scotland. The Scottish Government has just published responses to its consultation on a draft Freedom of Information (Amendment)(Scotland) Bill.  The future of FOI in Scotland may well be the subject of further scrutiny in 2012.  Minister for Parliamentary Business, Brian Adam MSP, announced a "transparency agenda" for Scotland at the Annual Holyrood FOI Conference in December 2011.

So ? what's happening in the UK FOIA review? Will it affect policy debate in Scotland? What might a "transparency agenda" look like in Scotland? And how might we expect FOI ? both across the UK and in Scotland - to change as a result?

  • Dr Ben Worthy, Research Associate, The Constitution Unit, University College London will set the scene, with a review of how FOI has fared in the UK since its inception - highlighting the environment within which the post-legislative scrutiny of FOIA was launched.
  • Ibrahim Hasan, Director, Act Now Training, a UK qualified solicitor who advises and trains the public sector on all aspects of information law, and member of the Save FOI campaign, will set out the key issues which are emerging from the review, what arguments are being made for and against change, and what the potential outcomes for FOI might be.
  • Christine O'Neill, Partner at Brodies LLP, will give her view of the potential outcome of the Scottish FOI Amendment Bill consultation, what a transparency agenda in Scotland might look like, and what impact developments in the FOIA review may have for Scotland

Rosemary Agnew, the new Scottish Information Commissioner, will also say a few words, introducing herself and reflecting very briefly on her first month in office.

To book a space, contact Donna Hendry at the Centre for FOI. 

 
 
 
 
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