Celebrating 10 years of freedom of information

Rosemary Agnew Scottish Information Commissioner.
Rosemary Agnew Scottish Information Commissioner.

Scotland celebrates the tenth anniversary of the introduction of freedom of information (FOI) rights on 1 January 2015.

The Scottish Parliament’s FOI law gives individuals the right to request and receive the information held by Scotland’s public bodies, including the Scottish Government, local authorities, the NHS and the Police.

Figures released in 2014 showed that Scottish public bodies report receiving over 60,000 FOI requests a year, with over 90% of these resulting in information being given to the requester. Under FOI law, information requests can only be refused if there is a very good reason for doing so, and refusals can be appealed to the independent Scottish Information Commissioner.

Celebrating the anniversary, Scottish Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew said: “FOI is a Scottish success story. Over the last decade freedom of information has been used by an enormous range of individuals get information of importance to themselves and their communities.

“Whether it be parents from the Scottish Rural Schools Network using FOI to campaign against school closures; the families of those who died during the Vale of Leven C-Diff outbreak using FOI to investigate the cleanliness of hospital wards; or disability groups using FOI to explore the allocation and quality of housing; I’m pleased to report that the FOI “right to information” is being used effectively, on a daily basis, right across Scotland.”