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Social Care Reform –  November 2021 CFoIS has made its submission to the Scottish Government’s  consultation on the way social care is delivered, available HERE.  CFoIS also produced a briefing on issues that organisations could include when drafting their response –  CFoIS briefing  Whatever new system is constructed, mainstreaming enforceable access to information rights and duties across the system, equally, is essential. Transparency and accountability are key to realising the Feeley Review recommendations.  

UN ICESCR – October 2021

The CFoIS submission to the UK Government on the UN’s periodic review of UK compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights focuses on the importance of greater transparency and accountability in the private sector’s relationships with public authorities and in procurement for public services and services of a public nature.  Citing the UN’s 31 Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the government should keep existing promises. Read it HERE.

CFOIS’ submission to the Scottish Government’s ‘terms of reference’ for the inquiry into the management of the response to COVID 19 is HERE.

Legal Reform is Urgently Needed – June 2021

CFoIS urges all MSPs to support our ‘Call for Action’ and endorse and prioritise delivery of four actions designed to protect and strengthen the public’s enforceable right to access information:

  1. Use current powers under Section 5 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FoISA) to extend enforceable access to information rights to health and social care services delivered by the private sector, particularly care homes.  The Scottish Government held a consultation on the issue in 2019 and published a report on responses in March 2020.
  2. Reform FoISA to ensure the law delivers openness, transparency accountability and empowerment. The consultation process needs to begin urgently, informed by a Scottish Parliament report of May 2020 and from CFoIS of January 2020. Scotland’s new FoI law needs to be in place 20 years after the first – by 2022!
  3. Acknowledge that the right to access information in the public interest is a human right. Consequently the detail of FoISA reform should be informed by human rights law.  The enforceable right to access information must align with the design and delivery of Scotland’s distinctive human rights strategy.
  4. Work with the UK Government to sign, ratify and implement the Council of Europe’s Tromso Convention which provides a general right of access to official documents held by public authorities.

Freedom of Information matters now fall within the remit of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments (SPPA) Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

Please support our ‘Call for Action’ as we want a cross party alliance to ensure FoI law is reformed and fit for purpose.  Download the document here , which includes a report card on the last session’s FoI activity.  Ask your MSPs to commit to the four actions in their Committee work and in the Scottish Parliament Chamber.

Reforming FoISA – 21st June 2021

CFoIS has today launched a report detailing its work and focus on drafting a Bill to reform the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FoISA). 

The report’s publication coincides with the fourth anniversary of  the unanimous vote at the Scottish Parliament which registered MSPs concerns about the operation of FoISA. The report is available here. 

Know Your Rights

CFoIS has a new publication to simply explain your FoI rights and to show reform of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is overdue.  We hope you will support our campaign to reform FoISA promptly.  Contact us for more information