Post-legislative scrutiny - The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - Call for Views

The Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee (PAPLS) is undertaking post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Call for views

You are invited to submit written views to the PAPLS Committee on the following questions -

1. In your view, what effects has the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) had, both positive and negative? 
2. Have the policy intentions of FOISA been met and are they being delivered? If not, please give reasons for your response.
3. Are there any issues in relation to the implementation of and practice in relation to FOISA? If so, how should they be addressed?
4. Could the legislation be strengthened or otherwise improved in any way? Please specify why and in what way.
5. Are there any other issues you would like to raise in connection with the operation of FOISA?

Please note that it is not necessary to answer every question and you can provide any other information that you consider to be relevant.

How to submit your evidence

The deadline for written submissions closed at 5.00 pm on Friday 21 June 2019.

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee.  This tells you about how we process your personal data.
Please use the template (29KB Word doc) provided to format your submission and complete the Data Protection form (38KB Word doc) and return it with your submission.
We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language.
Written responses should be sent electronically, in the template format to [email protected]Ideally, they should be no more than four sides of A4.

If you cannot submit electronically, you may send in a hard copy written submission.  If you are sending in a hard copy submission please print off and include a copy of the Data Protection form.  Please send them to:

FOISA Review
Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee
The Scottish Parliament 
Edinburgh EH99 1SP

Further Information

The remit for the Committee's post-legislative scrutiny is to consider whether -

  • the policy intentions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 have been realised and are being delivered; and
  • whether any further legislative or non-legislative changes are required to improve the effectiveness of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.  

The Policy Memorandum that accompanied the Bill stated that its main policy objectives were -

 • to establish a legal right of access to information held by a broad range of Scottish public authorities;

• to balance this right with provisions protecting sensitive information;

• to establish a fully independent Scottish Information Commissioner to promote and enforce the Freedom of Information regime;

• to encourage the proactive disclosure of information by Scottish public authorities through a requirement to maintain a publication scheme; and

• to make provision for the application of the Freedom of Information regime to historical records.

The Act makes the following provision—

• sets out a general entitlement to information held by Scottish public authorities; the institutional coverage of the Bill; the right for public authorities to charge; the duty on public authorities to maintain publication schemes (Part 1);
• makes provision for a series of exemptions to the right to information (Part 2);
• sets out the general functions of the Scottish Information Commissioner (Parts 3 and 4);
• defines the arrangements for the falling away of exemptions with time (Part 5);
• makes provision for two Codes of Practice (Part 6);
• makes various supplementary and miscellaneous provision (Part 7).

For further information about the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 please see the

 Scottish Information Commissioner’s website

A SPICe briefing prepared for the Committee also contains information about recent developments.


What happens next?

The Committee will consider all written evidence received before deciding upon those witnesses from whom it wishes to hear oral evidence in due course. It is anticipated that oral evidence sessions will take place in September to November 2019.

The Committee will consider all written evidence received before deciding upon those witnesses from whom it wishes to hear oral evidence in due course.


Should you require alternative formats of this information or further assistance in making a written submission to the Committee, please do not hesitate to contact the clerking team of the Committee via email or by telephone on 0131 348 5409.



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