Commissioner wants more FoI appeals by charities

Scottish information commissioner Kevin Dunion has encouraged more third sector organisations to regularly use the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act to obtain essential details from local authorities.

According to the Herald, the commissioner has launched a team headed by a PhD student that will investigate sector trends regarding FoI.

Speaking to the newspaper, Mr Dunion said: "It is a surprise to me and others that the voluntary sector makes very few appeals to me. It is surprising given not just the size but also their function, which is often to question authority or provide alternatives to what is mainstream."

He went on to state that voluntary organisations' dependence on government funding may mean that they "prefer not to make a fuss" when they do not receive the information required.

He also commented that he hopes to establish a publication scheme that, a few years down the line, could render his position needless through widely-accessible computerised information systems.

Dunion encourages freedom of information (Charities Aid Foundation, 10 March 2009)

See also: Information chief plans to target Scots public bodies (The Herald, 9 March 2009)

Watchdog wants charities to demand more data (The Herald, 10 March 2009) - a web portal and helpline have been set up on the commissioner's website: