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Contractors should be subject to FOI

Contractors bidding to run public services, or build and maintain them should be covered by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) says the Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland (CFoIS) today.

The Campaign has sent evidence to the Scottish Parliamentary committee considering the Government’s Procurement Reform Bill, suggesting that contracts for the supply of services and goods to our public services should contain a clause that commits the contractor to abide by the terms of FOISA.

Carole Ewart, Convener of the Campaign said: “The nature of our public services and who delivers them is changing fast. Bodies from the private and voluntary sector are increasingly building, maintaining, supplying and even providing our services, and they currently cost around £11bn of our money in a year. Yet they aren’t covered by fundamental provisions that would allow us to ask for information about that work for the general public.

The Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland is suggesting that, in addition to their inclusion in FOISA itself, that this basic right is included in the contracts when they are drawn up.”

The CFoIS is also backing ten measures suggested by a coalition of environmental groups, charities and trade unions that suggest procurement contracts should include a range of commitments to fair treatment, fair trade and sustainability.

The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee is currently examining evidence in its consideration of the Scottish Government’s Procurement Reform Bill at Stage one of its procedure through the Parliament.

For Further Information please contact:
Carole Ewart – Convener
Chris Bartter – Communications – 07715 583 729