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Impact of easier ‘vexatious’ clause on FOI requests must be watched

The Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland (CFoIS) today urged the Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC) to carefully monitor the impact of her new advice which allows public bodies to rule information requests ‘vexatious’ more easily.

In response to the SIC’s new briefing, Carole Ewart, Co-Convener of the CFoIS, cautioned:

“This new advice makes it easier for authorities to find requests vexatious, and while they may get frustrated by what they perceive as vexatious requests, if they use this exemption to refuse them, it will ultimately fall to the Commissioner to rule on their decision.

We are not clear that there is evidence of a significant problem with such requests in Scotland and CFoIS would encourage anyone who is dissatisfied with a refusal to appeal to the Commissioner. We will also be encouraging the SIC to carefully monitor the implementation of this new advice, and to report in a year on the impact of this revised guidance.”

For Further Information contact:

Carole Ewart (Co-Convener – Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland)
or Chris Bartter (Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland) 07715 583 729