2014/15 saw the 10th anniversary of FOI in Scotland. In September the Scottish Information Commissioner, Rosemary Agnew, published her annual report for 2014/15. Ms Agnew enforces the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
Highlights of the report include:
- Public awareness of FOI is at its highest ever level, at 84%
- 474 FOIA appeals were received across the year, 59% of which were from members of the public
- The Commissioner found wholly or partially in favour of requesters in 64% of her decisions
- The proportion of appeals received under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 rose to its highest ever level
- Public bodies reported receiving 66,804 information requests in 2014/15
- 94% of the public think that FOI is important in holding public bodies to account
In an excellent example of Open Data, the Commissioner has also published detailed information on the appeals received since 2005, broken down by public authority, region and sector, in Excel spreadsheets on her website.
Last year additional bodies were made subject to FOISA.
Act Now has a full programme of FOISA workshops in Scotland.
If you are new to FOI in Scotland or want to boost your career through gaining a qualification, our FOISA Practitioner Certificate is ideal. The four day course is endorsed by the Centre for FOI , based at Dundee University.
The next course in Edinburgh, starting next week, is fully booked but we have places in Aberdeen.
If you’re considering enrolling on the course, what can you expect? Read a successful candidate’s observations and have a go at the FOISA test.