News and Commentary from the Scottish Information Commissioner

Update from the Scottish Information Commissioner

September 2010

An update on two current news items likely to be of interest to Inform readers.  The full September / October edition of Inform will be published during week beginning 20 September 2010. 
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Revised approach to publication scheme - consultation launched
The Scottish Information Commissioner has launched a consultation on proposals to revise the way that Scottish public authorities make information proactively available under FOI law. The consultation, which will run until 29 October 2010, is seeking a range of views on the Commissioner's plans to enhance the information that authorities publish for the public.

Under FOI, every Scottish public authority is obliged to produce a 'publication scheme' - a document that sets out the types of information that they commit to routinely publish. Authorities must then make this information - which typically includes minutes of meetings, organisational policies and financial data - proactively available. The Commissioner is consulting on plans to build on best practice in Scotland by developing one model publication scheme for use by all Scottish public authorities. In doing so, he aims to encourage authorities to publish more information, while making the schemes easier for the public to use.

The proposals will also mean that the Commissioner can move his own focus away from approving individual authority schemes, to actively assessing whether authorities are publishing information in accordance with the scheme.

We would urge all Inform readers to read the paper and tell us what you think of the proposal. Will it help authorities to become more efficient?  Will it improve public access to information?

You can download the consultation paper and let us know your views .

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Centre for FOI - Autumn seminar series

An important date for your diary - the Centre for FOI's Autumn Series will launch on Thursday 21 October, with a seminar exploring 'New Developments in FOI'. Speakers at the Dundee seminar will include:

  • Zoe Woods, Head of FOI Unit, Scottish Government ? on the current policy priorities of the Scottish Government, including the revision of the FOI codes of practice, plans for records management legislation, and the consultation to extend FOI.
  • William Malcolm, Senior Associate, Pinsent Masons ? reflecting on the key learning points for Scottish public authorities emerging from selected FOI appeal rulings in the Courts and Information Tribunal.
  • Daradjeet Jagpal, Solicitor, Harper Macleod ? exploring the tests to establish whether a body which is not subject to FOI will nevertheless fall within the scope of the EIRs.

For more information, or to book a place, visit

The second seminar in the Autumn Series is scheduled for week commencing 15 November, and will examine vexatious requests. Further information will be available at the Centre for FOI's website shortly.

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