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Scottish FOI reforms branded ‘timid’

THE SNP-Green Scottish government’s plans to reform freedom of information were branded “timid” yesterday by a socialist MSP.

The Scottish government had been consulting on changes to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) on the recommendation of a Holyrood committee, amid calls for reform to include private companies with public-sector contracts in the legislation.

But, publishing its response yesterday, the government concluded the Act remained “fit for purpose,” saying: “We do not propose to introduce new primary legislation to amend FOISA within the current session of the Scottish Parliament.”

Scottish Information Commissioner David Hamilton posted on X, formerly Twitter, that there was a “palpable feeling of disappointment” at the news.

Scottish Labour’s Katy Clark said: “The Scottish government has finally made clear its intentions — kick the can down the road yet again.

“This is weak, timid and far from what the public are calling for.

“It’s utterly undemocratic that so many publicly funded organisations evade scrutiny because of their ownership.

“Today’s announcement is disappointing yet unsurprising from a government which has essentially been under special measures over its own atrocious FOI performance for the past five years.”

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