In publishing, the Commissioner Daren Fitzhenry said:
“I am publishing my Annual Report at a time dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. While freedom of information in Scotland has certainly not been immune from the impact of the pandemic, the importance of the right to information is one clear constant.
“Inevitably we all have questions about the decisions being made by our governments and public services. Never more so than at a time when those decisions, sadly, may mean the difference between life and death.
“This is why it is so vital that Scotland’s law ensures everyone has a right to seek information from public authorities and – with only very few, limited exceptions – to receive it.”
Key statistics from the report include:
79,300 FOI requests were made to Scottish public bodies during the year. 12.6% of these were for environmental information (an increase from 10.3% in 2018-19)
76% of requests to Scottish public authorities resulted in full or partial disclosure of information to the requester (an increase from 75% in 2018-19)
251 interventions regarding authority practice improvements were carried out by the Commissioner (compared to 252 in 2018-19 and 234 in 2017-18)
There were 494 appeals made to the Commissioner (0.6% of total requests made to Scottish public bodies). 75% of appeals were made by members of the public.
On average, cases appealed to the Commissioner were closed within 3.4 months
23% of valid appeals to the Commissioner related to an authority’s failure to respond
67% of the Commissioner’s decisions found wholly or partially in favour of the requester (an increase from 65% in 2018-19)
Please note that this annual report covers the period 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020. The Commissioner will publish an initial insights briefing specifically examining the impact of the Covid-19 on FOI in Scotland later in 2020.
Our most popular FOISA course will take place online in November. Click here for details.
Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic is stretching our public services. Most obviously the NHS is diverting all the resources it can to meeting critical health needs. But local authorities are also struggling to maintain vital services in the face of unprecedented demands and staff who, if not already ill and self-isolating, are obliged to comply with social distancing measures. Other public authorities are facing logistical challenges in maintaining services and some are even having to put some staff on HMRC-funded furlough.
In such challenging circumstances, where does dealing with information requests under Freedom of Information and DataProtection laws sit in the scheme of priorities? Many authorities who are fortunate enough to have staff dedicated to handling FOI requests or data subject access requests will have re-tasked them to undertake more business-critical roles. Where staff have information request handling as only part of their role, other more pressing duties are likely to trump FOI and DP timescales. And where staff are working from home and access to premises either discouraged or forbidden, manual records may remain inaccessible for weeks or months to come. Where requests are made by post, they may be delivered to offices which will not be staffed for some time.
The response of the Scottish Government has been robust. On 1 April 2020, the Scottish Parliament passed the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill which, while retaining the statutory requirement to “respond promptly”, extends the timescale for responding to requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 from twenty to sixty working days. Moreover, Part 2 of Schedule 6 provides a mechanism for the Scottish Ministers to allow Scottish public authorities to extend the timescale, subject to providing written notice to the applicant, by a further forty working days, where the authority “determines that it is not reasonably practicable to respond to the request within the relevant period because of… (a) the volume and complexity of the information requested, or (b) the overall number of requests being dealt with by the authority at the time that the request is made.”
The emergency legislation also allows the Scottish Information Commissioner to find that a public authority has not failed in their duties under FOISA if he is satisfied that the failure to respond within timescales was due to the impact of coronavirus and reasonable in the circumstances. The Scottish Information Commissioner for his part is keen to remind public authorities that their duty to respond promptly remains, that the measures are temporary, and that they do not extend to the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EISR).
Of course, the Scottish Parliament cannot legislate with regard to data protection (where EU and UK legislation applies) nor can it amend the timescales for requests under the EISR as they implement the obligations of the Aarhus Convention. But as far as they can do so, the Scottish Government and Parliament have sought to relax the demands of information requests in the face of the pandemic.
For data subject access requests under GDPR (or s 45 of the Data Protection Act 2018 where they relate to law enforcement processing) and requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, there is no relaxation of the law. This was despite the call to do so from some quarters, including the Local Government Association who called on Parliament to include measures “temporarily relaxing the requirements on councils in regard to GDPR and FOI”. We rely instead on flexibility from the Information Commissioner as regulator.
While the UK Government did not take the opportunity of the Coronavirus Act to take extend time limits(and would be unable to do so in any case with regard to GDPR as we are still in the transition period), the ICO has made clear they will not penalise organisations who have made understandable decisions to prioritise other tasks. As they state on their website, “We are a reasonable and pragmatic regulator, one that does not operate in isolation from matters of serious public concern. Regarding compliance with information rights work when assessing a complaint brought to us during this period, we will take into account the compelling public interest in the current health emergency.”
Organisations should therefore be reassured that they are unlikely to face official censure or significant public criticism if they make reasonable decisions to prioritise other tasks to protect and serve the public ahead of normal levels of service for FOI requests and subject access requests. If your organisation, almost inevitably, is finding it difficult to meet the timescales at this difficult time, we would suggest you take a common-sense and measured approach:
Make a record of your decisions to re-allocate resources from handling information rights requests to other service-delivery priorities;
Document the practical challenges (such as inaccessibility of manual records or post, and unavailability of key colleagues) which mean that it is “reasonable in all the circumstances” that the organisation is not able to meet normal levels of performance;
Manage the expectations of applicants through your website and in your acknowledgements of requests and your automated email responses, and continue to communicate with applicants as far as you are able to do so;
At the point at which your organisation, and the rest of humanity, is beginning to recover from the Covid-19 emergency, develop and document an action plan for addressing any backlog of requests which has built up.
At Act Now, we are passionate about the importance of information rights: They are at the heart of our democracy and our human rights. But the right to life must take priority over others, and we would be the first to recognise that organisations and individuals must make decisions which put people first, particularly at a time of global emergency.
According to the report, Scottish public bodies are receiving record numbers of FOISA requests. 83,963 requests were reported by them in the year 2018/19; a rise of 8% on the year before. Three quarters of these requests led to a full or partial release of information.
The number of appeals made to the Scottish Information Commissioner alsoincreased; by 10% to 560, still just 0.7% of all requests made. Just under two thirds of the Commissioner’s appeal decisions (64%) were either fully or partially in favour of the requester.
Scottish public authorities must respond promptly to FOISA requests and no later than 20 working days.However, the report shows that they are are increasingly failing to comply with this requirement. The number of times an authority failed to respond to an FOI request rose from 601 in 2017/8 to 940 in 2018/19. 26% of valid appeals to the Commissioner were about an authority’s failure to respond.
The Commissioner has responded to this failure to comply with the FOISA time limits by making more than 250 interventions over the course of the year. A third (33%) of his basic interventions investigated authorities’ compliance with statutory timescales. Often these failures can be indications of other fundamental problems, such as FOISA management and culture issues, staff absences or procedures not working well.
A poll of Scottish adults, conducted in May 2019, found disappointing levels of confidence in public bodies’ ability to respond to requests, which were much lower than the actual performance in practice. 57% of those surveyed were “very” or “fairly confident” they would receive a response from a request to information from a public body.38% were “not very” or “not at all confident” they would receive a response.Any increases in authorities’ failures to respond are likely to feed this perception.
FOISA requires authorities to publish information as well as respond to requests. According to the above mentioned poll, 9 in 10 people in Scotland thought it was important for public bodies to publish information about the reasons for the decisions they make, information about contracts with other organisations and information about how they spend their money.
The Commissioner is using the opportunity of his annual report to emphasise the need for authorities to do more to improve their FOISA compliance. He said on his website:
“We are seeing increasing numbers of information requests being made to Scottish public authorities.
While many are performing well, there has been a concerning increase in failures to respond to requests for information on time. Such failures impact on people’s perception of both freedom of information and the authorities themselves.
Freedom of Information brings significant benefits to authorities who comply with it. Public bodies improving their Freedom of Information practice will make a real difference not only to the requester’s experience but also to the authorities themselves.”
It’s going to be a busy year ahead for FOISA. The Scottish Parliament’s is due to complete its post-legislative scrutiny of the Act soon. This may lead to legislative changes. From 11 November 2019, registered social landlords (RSLs) in Scotland will become subject to FOISA.
The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 (PRSA 2011) requires public bodies in Scotland to develop a Records Management Plan and submit it for the approval of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland. Many of these plans, usually approved on a five year basis, are now approaching the time when they will need to be revised and put through the approval process once again. Moreover, the Keeper’s team have been actively revising their “Model Plan” and will be expecting more from authorities on the submission of their new plans over the next couple of years.
The PRSA 2011 received Royal Assent on 20 April 2011, aiming to fill a gap in information governance which had long existed. Although there had been some sector specific records requirements there was no overall legislative framework guiding the creation, management or retention of information in the Scottish public sector.
The Act came in on the back of the 2007 Shaw Report which blamed poor record keeping for many of the difficulties faced by former residents of residential schools and children’s homes. The Scottish Government took a broad view of the implications of Shaw; this in turn led to the PRSA covering a broad range of named public authorities including the Scottish Government and Parliament, local authorities, NHS, police and the courts.
Despite concerns, strongly expressed at the time by COSLA among others, that the Act would present yet another onerous burden during a period of particularly harsh austerity, it is probably fair to say that the PRSA has been a success, giving Scotland a solid statutory basis for its record keeping for the first time.
Records Management Plans
The core of the Act is the requirement to develop and maintain a Records Management Plan. This, in theory, can take any form but in practice authorities have tended to closely follow the Keeper’s “Model” comprising (originally) 14 elements:
Senior management responsibility
Records manager responsibility
Records management policy statement
Archiving and transfer arrangements
Business continuity and vital records
Competency framework for records management staff
Assessment and review
One significant change to the way that the Keeper will be assessing authorities’ Records Management Plans is that there is now an “Element 15” in the Model Plan, covering third party records. S2 and S3 of the Public Records (Scotland) Act always defined the scope of the legislation broadly so as to cover the records of external agencies carrying out functions on behalf of the public authority, but that is now going to be more explicitly defined and the Keeper will expect to see evidence of policies and procedures under this “Element 15”.
The Keeper is currently undertaking a review of these requirements so it is as yet unclear exactly what will be required. The issue was covered in some detail at the Stakeholders’ forums which the Keeper hosted last year, and there is some guidance and model contractual clauses available from the National Records of Scotland, and from the Scottish Council on Archives and Quality Scotland.
Another significant change in the Keeper’s approach to what will be required from Records Management Plans is a general refocussing on data protection. This had always featured in the Model Plan with element 9 dedicated to the appropriate management of personal data but now data protection runs through the Keeper’s guidance like the writing through a stick of rock. As well as beefing up element 9, each section of the Keeper’s guidance now includes a data protection theme as an example of good practice.
The scope of the PRSA continues to broaden. The Keeper is currently going through the approval process of the Integrated Joint Boards, and (as with Freedom of Information?) there will be pressure to extend the list of bodies covered by the Act. The position of Trusts and some other arms-length authorities remains unclear but all organisations of a public nature would be well advised to get up to speed with the requirements of the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011.
Throughout the process of the passage of the Bill, the Keeper always made a commitment to use the carrot rather than the stick. This has worked well, with the very helpful team at the NRS providing support and guidance on a range of records issues. As the records environment matures, however, and as more is expected of authorities, might we see a more robust approach from the regulator? In retrospect, some of the early schemes which the Keeper approved now look somewhat thin; it may be unlikely that these would have passed had they been submitted today.
Act Now has arranged a series of webinars and full day workshops on the themes raised by the developments within the PRSA. Among other issues, we will be looking at:
Records Management Policies. Some authorities conflate “policy” and “Plan”. I’d suggest a clear separation, with the Policy simply summarising the case for records management, allocating responsibilities, defining terms and setting out key principles. This element of the plan can also be used to include area-specific policies and procedures which perhaps don’t fit neatly elsewhere.
We’ll consider the standards and resources available. What are the standards that you need to know about? In developing or amending your plan, how far can you rely on off-the-shelf resources such as business classification schemes and retention schedules? What do you have to do to make these really work for you?
The Keeper has a self-review mechanism for already established Records Management Plans. The “Progress Update Review” mechanism is available and the Keeper has suggested that completing this process will delay the requirement for a full resubmission of your Plan. But what factors should be considered in deciding when to use the PUR and when to complete a full resubmission?
Links to other relevant legislation. In particular, the GDPR, the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2004. As noted above, the start of the review of the model scheme was at the same time as the implementation of the GDPR and this seems to have very much focussed the Keeper’s attention on data protection. What will authorities need to do to ensure that their RMPs are up to speed with the new DP requirements?
Electronic Records Management. In theory, records principles are blind to the media by which the information is created, stored and managed. In practice, however, the Records Management Plan can be an excellent focus to develop and promote policies and practical guidance which relates specifically to information in alternative media.
Getting “buy in”. We will consider the best ways to get support for the Records Management Plan within your organisation. It is important that you are able to show the benefits of good records management – and not just in terms of statutory compliance or improved efficiency. By developing a culture of regarding information as a corporate asset you be able to demonstrate that records management is vital in evidencing the rights and responsibilities of the organisation and in maintaining a high quality corporate memory through the development of a proper archive service.
Making it real. The RMP should not just be a paper exercise but should be a functioning set of tools which ensure that the organisation derives maximum value from its information resources. To be of real value, the Plan needs to be embedded throughout the organisation, rather than just a neat stack of policies on a corner of the Chief Executive’s desk.
Craig Geddes is a qualified archivist and records manager, with 28 years’ experience working across the range of information governance activities. He has recently joined the Act Now team to deliver freedom of information and records management courses in Scotland.
The social housing sector already prides itself on being open and accountable to tenants. But from 11 November 2019, registered social landlords (RSLs) in Scotland will acquire new transparency obligations under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
After years of debate and the robust recommendation of successive Scottish Information Commissioners, that housing associations should be in scope of FOISA, a designation order (under Section 5) adds RSLs to the list of public authorities in Schedule 1 of FOISA. The last such order (S.I. 2016/139) came into force on 2ndMarch 2016and extended coverage of FOISA to contractors overseeing and managing private prisons, bodies providing secure accommodation for children and young people, grant-aided schools, independent special schools and Scottish Health Innovations Limited.
Housing associations are already subject to the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EISR) as their scope is broader than FOISA. However, awareness of the EISR is low among the public, and even some housing associations were probably unaware of them. Many of the types of requests which RSLs are likely to receive – around construction and repairs for example – will continue to fall under the EISRs.
Unlike other Scottish public authorities, the scope of FOISA does not apply to all the activities that an RSL may undertake. The designation order only extends FOISA to “housing services” as defined in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010, which would include activities in support of:
the prevention and alleviation of homelessness,
the management of housing accommodation (but only where RSL has issued a Scottish secure tenancy or short SST)
the provision and management of sites for gypsies and travellers
Other activities undertaken by RSLs – such as factoring for owner-occupiers, repairs and maintenance for non-tenants and care services – would not be in scope. Identifying how much of the organisation is subject to FOISA will be an ongoing challenge for RSLs.
And there is a double whammy for RSLs. Under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 2018, schedule 1 of FOISA is the basis in Scotland for designating public authorities under GDPR. Therefore, from November, RSLs will be subject to the obligation, under Article 38 and 39 of GDPR, to designate and provide appropriate support for a Data Protection Officer. While many larger RSLs have already done so, this is going to be a challenge to resource for smaller associations.
So, in preparation for November, RSLs should “Act Now” to:
Gain senior management support and buy-in for the compliance tasks;
Develop procedures and guidance for staff, including a log for tracking requests and templates for responses;
Ensure training is in place: Specific compliance training for DPOs and FOI leads and awareness training for all staff;
Review records management procedures to ensure appropriate retention periods are applied and records are retrievable;
Inform tenants and the wider public of their rights, including having a guide to information on their website.
Our FOISA expert, Frank Rankin, is delivering a free webinar for RSLs in Scotland to bring them up to speed with FOISA and what they need to do now before the implementation date. Book now as places are limited.
This course is one of the first of its kind, in a way that only Act Now delivers – practical, on the ground skills to help you fulfil your role as an FOI Officer.
This new certificate course is ideal for those wishing to acquire detailed knowledge of FOI and related information access legislation (including EIR) in a practical context. It has been designed by leading FOI experts including Ibrahim Hasan and Susan Wolf – formerly a senior lecturer on the University of Northumbria’s LLM in Information
The course uses the same format as our very successful GDPR Practitioner Certificate. It takes place over four days (one day per week) and involves lectures, discussion and practical drafting exercises. This format has been extremely well received by over 1000 delegates who have completed the course. Time will also be spent at the end of each day discussing what issues delegates may face when implementing/advising on the FOI topics of the day.
The four teaching days are followed by an online assessment and a practical project to be completed within 30 days.
Why is this course different?
An emphasis on practical application of FOI rather than rote learning
Lots of real life case studies and exercises
An emphasis on drafting Refusal Notices
An online Resource Lab with links, guidance and over 5 hours of videos
Modern assessment methods rather than a closed book exam
Who should attend?
This course is suitable for anyone working within the public sector who needs to learn about FOI and related legislation in a practical context, as well as those with the requisite knowledge wishing to have it recognised through a formal qualification. It is most suitable for:
“FOI and EIR are almost 14 years old. Since the Act and Regulations came into force there have been many legal developments and court decisions that have given practitioners a much greater understanding of the legal provisions and how they should be applied in practice. With this in mind, we have written this course to ensure that it equips public sector officers with all the necessary knowledge and skills they need to respond to freedom of information requests accurately and efficiently. This course, with its emphasis on the law in practice, will enable trainees to become more accomplished and confident FOI practitioners”
Susan will share her vast experience gained through years of helping organisations comply with their information rights legislation obligations. This, together with a comprehensive set of course materials and guidance notes, will mean that delegates will not only be in a position to pass the course assessment but to learn valuable skills which they will be able to apply in their workplaces for years to come.
This new course builds on Act Now’s reputation for delivering practical training at an affordable price:
In December 2016, we launched our hugely successful GDPR course. The GDPR Practitioner Certificate has been run over 100 times in the last two years with over 1000 delegates attending from all over the world.
This new course widens the choice of qualifications for IG practitioners and advisers. Ibrahim Hasan (Director of Act Now Training) commented:
“We are pleased be able to launch this new qualification. Because of its emphasis on practical skills, we are confident that it will become the qualification of choice for current and future FOI Officers and advisers.”
Public awareness of FOISA remained at its highest ever level, at 85%.
The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC) met or exceeded most of its investigation performance targets (10 out of 12).
It issued its first ever Enforcement Notices.
It carried out 15 level 4 interventions with authorities to address practice concerns.
It launched an online appeal service, making it possible for requestors to make appeals online, and receive real-time help and advice, at any time of day.
It responded to its 20,000th enquiry since 2005.
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.
Act Now Training is pleased to report that it has completed another successful year of delivering the Practitioner Certificate in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Now in its fourth year the course is the only certificated FOI course specifically designed for Scottish delegates.
Two courses were delivered in 2016 with 22 very strong candidates from a variety of backgrounds including the local government, education, health, government and regulatory sectors. All the delegates passed the course. Of these 3 achieved a distinction and 14 achieved a merit. The delegate feedback has been extremely positive:
“I really enjoyed the course and thought that Tim Turner really brought the subject to life. He was an excellent tutor and made this subject both interesting and informative with amusing anecdotes throughout. I would certainly go on another course being delivered by Tim Turner and I would recommend him to my peers.” LC, Glasgow Kelvin College
“Tim was an excellent tutor. His knowledge of the subject was vast and impressive. I learned a lot.” JM, Fife Council
“This is the most useful course I have participated in for a long time.” JT, Crofting Commission
Read a previous successful candidate’s observations here.
The course is endorsed by the Centre for FOI based at Dundee University. The Chair of the independent Exam Board , Professor Kevin Dunion (formerly the Scottish Information Commissioner and now the Executive Director of the Centre for FOI).
The most recent course was delivered by Frank Rankin who has many years of experience working in the Scottish public sector. Frank said:
“The Act Now certificate brings together a fantastic cross section of FOISA practitioners from a range of organisations, large and small, across all parts of the public sector. I love sharing ideas and experience with these colleagues, and learning from their campaign stories as well.”
The Act Now Practitioner Certificate in FOISA is now the qualification of choice for FOISA professionals in Scotland. The next course is in February 2017 runs over five weeks and is already filling up. For those who are time poor we also have a one-week intensive option. More details here: http://www.actnow.org.uk/content/113
Following a consultation last year, 1st September 2016 saw FOISA being extended to cover more organisations. Act Now has a full programme of FOISA workshops in Scotland.
540 appeals were made to the Commissioner in 2015/16. This is a 14% increase on last year, but is down from 578 appeals two years ago.
The number of “failure to respond” appeals fell significantly in 2015/16. The Commissioner accepted 61 “failure to respond” cases for investigation. This was 16% of her investigation caseload – a significant reduction on the 25% three years ago.
Appeals volumes fell for some sectors. Most notably for the Scottish Government and its agencies, where appeals fell from 23% of the Commissioner’s caseload in 2014/15 to 15% this year (from 111 appeals to 84).
Appeal volumes increased for others. Appeals in relation to non-departmental public bodies increased, from 6% of the Commissioner’s caseload in 2014/15 to 10% this year. This was largely due to an increase in Scottish Fire and Rescue Service appeals, from 1 in 2014/15 to 12 this year.There was also a significant increase in appeals about requests made to Police Scotland. They rose from 9% of appeals last year to 15% in 2015/16 (from 45 to 81 appeals). 3% of Police Scotland’s information requests resulted in an appeal, compared to a national average of 0.8%.
61% of appeals came from members of the public. The media accounted for 20% of appeals, and prisoners 7%.
60% of the Commissioner’s decisions found wholly or partially in the requester’s favour. If an authority has incorrectly withheld information, the Commissioner’s decision will require it to be released.
73% of cases were resolved by the Commissioner within 4 months.
Public authorities reported receiving 68,156 information requests in 2015/16. This is a 2% increase on 2014/15. Figures are reported in a publicly available database set up by the Commissioner. The portal data also shows that 75% of requests resulted in some or all of the requested information being provided, and that public authorities themselves are reporting 35% fewer ‘failures to respond’ to information requests since 2014/15.
Public awareness of FOI is at its highest ever level, at 85%. This is up from 84% last year, and 78% in September 2013.
FOI awareness is lower amongst 16-24 year olds. Ipsos MORI polling also revealed lower awareness amongst young people. The Commissioner is working in partnership with Young Scot to address this lower awareness.
Speaking at the launch of the report Rosemary Agnew said:
“These signs of improvement in FOI performance are welcome. As my report demonstrates, the majority of information requests result in some or all of the information being disclosed. It is encouraging that only a very small proportion of requests are appealed. I’m also pleased that the number of appeals made about a failure to respond has fallen significantly following our work to tackle this issue.”
“Unfortunately, our experience is that these improvements are not universal. There is still a clear gap between the best performing authorities and those who lag behind. As you will see from my report, my focus still lies in promoting good practice and intervening when I find poor practice.”
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.
Following a consultation last year, 1st September 2016 saw FOISA being extended to cover more organisations.
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 FOISA Practitioner Certificate course in Edinburgh is starting in February 2017.
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (Designation of Persons as Scottish Public Authorities) Order 2016, S.I. 2016/139, came into force on 2nd March 2016. It is made under Section 5 of FOISA. It comes into force on 1st September 2016.
This is the second order brought forward under Section 5 of FOISA; the first came into force on 1 April 2014 and covers arms-length culture, sport and leisure trusts established by local authorities.
Freedom of Information in Scotland seems to sail in much more calmer waters than in the rest of the UK where the FOI Act comes under intense scrutiny (some say “attack’) from politicians from time to time. The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information was established by the Cabinet Office in July last year to examine the operation of the FOI Act and whether it required any changes. Its recent report says FOI is working well and does not need major changes. However, it does make twenty-one recommendations.
Looking for a FOISA qualification? Our Practitioner Certificate in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is the only certificated course specially designed for FOI practitioners in Scotland. It is endorsed by the Centre for FOI based at Dundee University