FoI consultation - more organisations could be covered

Freedom of Information legislation could be extended to more organisations, following the publication of a discussion paper.

Proposals in the paper extend the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act to contractors who provide services that are a function of a public authority; registered social landlords; and local authority trusts or bodies set up by local authorities.

Publishing the discussion paper Minister for Parliamentary Business Bruce Crawford also announced that the government would be pro-actively publishing ministerial car travel and diary information. Crawford said: "The public has a right to expect transparency from public organisations and from private organisations that perform public functions. The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act has helped open the door towards greater scrutiny of the workings of such organisations. But the Act's provisions do not include a number of organisations which many people believe should be covered - for example, contractors supplying services traditionally provided directly by a public authority, such as private prisons.

"Today's paper is recognition of those concerns - but it highlights the legal and policy considerations related to any extension of coverage."

He added that no decision on extending coverage would be taken until responses to the discussion paper had been considered.

Opening up government (, 17 November 2008)