Research suggests Scots want FoI laws extended

According to research figures published by the Scottish Information Commissioner, Scots want legal access to documents held by bodies such as private prisons.

The research also suggested companies which build and maintain schools and hospitals should fall under expanded freedom of information legislation.

More than two thirds of the 1,002 people interviewed by Progressive Scottish Opinion said they wanted the laws extended. The Scottish Government is currently reviewing the issue.

Scottish Information Commissioner, Kevin Dunion said: "Our research reveals the Scottish public is broadly in favour of bringing additional bodies that provide public services within the scope of freedom of information law. The responsibility of delivering public services is increasingly being transferred to those outwith the public sector, and there is growing concern that this transfer is leading to an erosion of the public's rights to the information which matters to them on the operational delivery of health, housing, and leisure services."

Bruce Crawford, Minister for Parliamentary Business, said there were complex legal, financial and practical issues surrounding an extension of the legislation. He added: "In these difficult economic times I would not wish to disproportionately increase the strain or burden that some organisations might be challenged with."

Scots 'want freedom law extended' (BBC News, 10 December 2008)

1 comments:

Big Bob said...

How can you possibly extrapolate from a small survey of 1,002 people that "Scots want freedom laws extended".

Dunion said: "Our research reveals the Scottish public is broadly in favour of bringing additional bodies that provide public services within the scope of freedom of information law."

66% of 1,002 people interviewed stated that they wanted the law to extend to prisons (ie 661 people). That means 341 (34%) didn't - or couldn't care less.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for extending FoI laws to give the legislation some much-needed teeth. But since when did 661 people represent "the Scottish public" - there's lies, damned lies and statistics.

Maybe the headline should have been "A few Scots that were interviewed want FoI laws extended".