Scottish Public Information Forum (SPIF)

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Scottish Public Information Forum (SPIF) on 'Transparency and Accountability - Reforming FoI Rights and Duties in Scotland'.

About this event

In 2017 independent polling for the Scottish Information Commissioner revealed that 94% agree it is important for the public to access information and 77% would be more likely to trust an authority that publishes a lot of information about its work. Right to information laws allow people to ensure government officials make good decisions even at a time of national emergency.

The need to maintain public trust in and enable scrutiny of, publicly funded services is critical in improving design, delivery and impact as well as holding the Government to account in real time and retrospectively.

The Freedom of Information (Scotland ) Act 2002 (FoISA) came into force on 1st January 2005 so it is 19 years old and has been operational for 16 years. It is time to agree reform and ensure rights are robust despite changes in service design and delivery as well as in communication technology. FoISA has been subject of post-legislative scrutiny by the Public Audit and Post Legislative Scrutiny Committee of the Scottish Parliament due to a unanimous motion passed on 21st June 2017, which was prompted by a letter of complaint signed by journalists and repeated criticism from organisations such as CFoIS. The Committee's report, of May 2020, accepts that FoISA needs to be reformed.

In January 2020, the Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland (CFoIS) published a report proposing line by line amendments to FoISA as a way to encourage and inform debate. This meeting of SPIF enables a collaborative discussion on the detail and pace of reform.

Online Meeting of the Scottish Public Information Forum (SPIF) on Monday 21st June 2021 10am - 12.30pm


1. Welcome and Context

2. Keynote Speakers

3. Discussion

Break for 5 minutes

4. Minute and Matters Arising - meeting of 24th May 2021

5. Reports and Updates - including Scottish Information Commissioner, UK Information Commissioner's Office in Scotland, Scottish Government, CFoIS.


6. Date of next online meetings


8. Closing and Thanks

Thanks to AWRT CFoIS thanks the Andrew Wainright Reform Trust for providing funding to make this meeting and project work possible.

About CFoIS The Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland (CFoIS) was established in 1984 to improve public access to official information, to secure the legal right to access information and to enforce that right. The initiative came from the Scottish Consumer Council. We believe in the right of people to find out about how they are governed and how their services are delivered. CFoIS organises the Scottish Public Information Forum (SPIF) for civil society, the public and private sectors. Normally it takes place twice a year but due to a grant from the AWRT, meetings will be monthly until October 2021. For further information go to CFoIS website @CFoIScot

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Organiser CFoIS

Organiser of Scottish Public Information Forum (SPIF)

The Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland (CFoIS) was established in 1984 to secure a legal right of access to information so that people could find out about how they are governed and how their services are delivered. We have been involved in all the major developments of the legislation at a Scottish level and most recently successfully argued against weakening FoI rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. CFoIS is independent of government and relies on donations and income generated through training.

CFoIS welcomes the opportunity to work with the public sector, civil society and the private sector so that access to information rights deliver transparency and accountability in Scotland.

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