On 26th May, there will be a Scottish Parliament reception FoISA@20 – Marking 20 Years of Scotland’s FoI Law. Hosted by Willie Rennie MSP, it will celebrate 20 years since the the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FoISA) received Royal Assent. All MSPs have been invited to attend. Due to COVID restrictions, only a small number of people can attend and those invited are people who have participated in SPIF over the years. To enable as many people as possible to meet and discuss FoISA@20 and look forward to its detailed reform, a meeting of SPIF will be held in September 2022 and more details will follow.
The last meeting of SPIF was on 28th February 2022. It focused on the CFoIS draft Bill to reform FoISA and a report of proceedings has been made by the Scottish Information Commissioner’s office which is available HERE. The Bill offers 21 amendments to address evidenced problems and includes proposals from the post legislative scrutiny report published by the Scottish Parliament in May 2020. Contributors gave examples of further reforms that could be included when the Bill is discussed by the Scottish Parliament.
The Minute of the meeting of 28th September 2021 appears HERE . You can access a note of the presentation HERE on COP26. The meeting celebrated International Right to Know Day.
Transparency and Business A sub group of SPIF has been established to focus on the UN’s 31 Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and what impact they have made in Scotland and the UK. It will link this global initiative to delivering openness and scrutiny in the spend of public money, particularly in public procurement. A short background paper is HERE.which
June SPIF The Minute of the June meeting is HERE.The date was chosen to mark the fourth anniversary of a motion at the Scottish Parliament – on 21st June 2017. MSPs voted unanimously to require post legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FoISA) and for practice reform. Despite the vote, it is unlikely that the detail and extent of legislative reform will be agreed until 2023.
May SPIF The Minute of the meeting of SPIF 24th May 2021 appears here.
March SPIF The Minutes of the last meeting appear here. The keynote speaker was Helen Darbishire from Access Info Europe, a member of the Steering Committee of the OGP and Chair of the UNCAC Coalition, the network that coordinates civil society activity in monitoring and promoting the UN Convention against Corruption. Doreen Grove, Open Government Partnership Lead, at the Scottish Government Strategy Unit also spoke.
Thanks CFoIS thanks the Andrew Wainright Reform Trust for providing funding to make these meetings happen and to enable other project work.
About SPIF SPIF brings together rights holders, duty bearers, government, the Scottish Information Commissioner and the public around a table twice a year to discuss, equally, the practical enjoyment of access to information rights in Scotland. Learning from each other helps improve understanding and practice across and within sectors.
CFoIS continues to organise SPIF in the public interest, to collaborate and be an asset in the development, delivery and continuous improvement of access to information rights.