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FOI rights boost confidence in public authority decisions

An Ipsos MORI omnibus poll in November 2015 showed that, at 85%, public awareness of FOI rights in Scotland is at the highest ever recorded level. By contrast, awareness of the separate, but similar, right to access environmental information is just 27%.

We asked respondents how relevant FOI rights are to them. Nine out of ten feel it is important for the public to be able to access information held by authorities. 77% said FOI gives them more confidence in the decisions of Scottish public bodies. 82% of people don’t agree with the statement that FOI is a waste of public money.

The full results are at the bottom of this page. In brief, they reveal:

  • 85% of respondents had heard of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act 2002, an increase from 84% in 2014. There’s a slight reduction in “definitely aware”, from 73% last year to 71% this year.
  • Awareness of the EIRs is at 27% (15% definitely; 12% I think so)
  • 91% agreed (“strongly” or “tend to”) that it is important for the public to be able to access information.  This shows a small fall from 95% in 2014.
  • 77% agree that FOI gives them more confidence in the decisions of Scottish public bodies. 13% disagreed with this statement, and 9% felt there was no relationship.
  • 82% agreed (“strongly” or “tend to”) that FOI is not a waste of public money.  Those who agreed that FOI is a waste of public money rose by 4% from 8% in 2014 to 12% in 2015.

Download the 2015 public awareness survey results:

PDF iconPublic Awareness Research 2015 Report (pdf-131kB)

PDF iconPublicAwarenessResearch2015FullResults (pdf-149kB)

 

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