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Response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a revised FOI good practice code

The Campaign for Freedom of Information has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on revising itscode of practice under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act. The response expresses concern that the draft code’s approach to requests which are phrased in terms of ‘documents’ rather than ‘information’ is restrictive and undermines the Scottish Information Commissioner’s guidance on this issue. It suggests that the guidance on the provision of advice and assistance could be strengthened; that the loss of specific Scottish Government guidance on the EIRs may have unintended consequences; that the draft may lead to confusion between the FOISA exemptions for breach of confidence and substantial prejudice to commercial interests. It also says authorities should not be entitled to ignore a request for internal review which has not been madr to a designated person.