Scotland to extend scope of Freedom of Information

By staff writers
June 11, 2013

MSP Alison Johnstone has welcomed plans by the Scottish Government to extend the country's Freedom of Information law, after consultation.

The extension will cover arm’s length bodies providing cultural, sports and leisure services, and acts as a prompt to reformers elsewhere in the British isles concerning UK legislation in this area.

Last year Ms Johnstone, a Green MSP, wrote to Scottish government deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling for such an extension, after a previous plan by SNP ministers was shelved following opposition from private bodies.

Ms Johnstone, MSP for Lothian, said: "Public accountability has clearly been eroded in recent years with hundreds of private and arms-length organisations delivering public services. It's often incredibly difficult or impossible to find out if they're making best use of public resources.

"There is a clear public appetite to extend FoI so this move by government is welcome, if long-overdue."

The UK government is also involved in Freedom of Information debates, with some ministers wanting to narrow the right to know, while freedom campaigners and political reformers push for further opening up.


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