COP26 The next online meeting of SPIF will take place at 2pm on Tuesday 28th September 2021 which is International Right to Know Day. The focus is on ‘COP26: Organisation and Impact on Environmental Rights in Scotland’. The keynote speaker is the environmentalist journalist Rob Edwards. Register for the online meeting HERE.
More information and the Agenda are available HERE. Access to the Minute of the last meeting of SPIF is HERE. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. Information on the work of and evidence published by, the IPCC is available from its website HERE
Transparency and Business A sub group of SPIF is also being established, following the successful meeting held on 15th June 2021 to discuss the UN’s 31 Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and what impact they have made in Scotland and the UK. There is clearly keen interest in ensuring that global initiatives to deliver openness and scrutiny in the spend of public money impact on how we do business in Scotland, particularly in public procurement and the diversification of public service delivery. The ‘Transparency and Accountability Network on Business and Human Rights’ will meet online on 28th September 10.30-12 and will focus on delivering a local impact of the UN’s global agenda on Business and Human Rights. Register for a free ticket HERE
The next online meeting of SPIF will take place on Monday 21st June 10am – 12.30 on ‘Reforming FoI Rights and Duties in Scotland’. The meeting is supported by NUJ Scotland. The Agenda is available here. Registration to attend SPIF is free and via Eventbrite. The Minute of the meeting of 24th May 2021 appears here.
The date has been specifically 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.
FoI rights are popular in Scotland: there were 79,300 reported requests for information in 2019/2020.
The next online meeting of SPIF is confirmed for 24th March and will focus on ‘‘Open Government – international trends?’ The keynote speaker is 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 will also speak.
Registration is free through Eventbrite. Subsequent dates for your diary for the online meetings are 24th May and 25th June.
The next online meeting of SPIF is confirmed for 24th March 2021 and will focus on ‘‘Open Government – international trends?’ The keynote speaker is 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 will also speak.
Subsequent dates for your diary for the online meetings are 24th May and 25th June 2021. is
The next meeting of the Scottish Public Information Forum (SPIF) will take place online on Friday 26th February at 10.30am. The Scottish Information Commissioner will speak about his special report on the ‘Impact of Covid-19 on FOI in Scotland’, which was published on 17th December 2020 Special Report Fiona Montgomery from UNISON Scotland will update on the work of staff and activity of requestors. Here is the meeting Agenda and the Minutes of the last meeting.
CFoIS thanks the Andrew Wainright Reform Trust for providing funding to make this meeting happen and to enable other project work.
Papers for SPIF on Thursday 24th September 2020: The Agenda, Minutes of the meeting of 26th September 2019, report from the Scottish Information Commissioner, report from the Office of the UK Information Commissioner, an update from CFoIS and a CFoIS Briefing on Section 36 of UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill.
Here are links to information which can inform and help you form an opinion: the Scottish Information Commissioner – for updates on changes to Scot’s FoI Law; the UK Information Commissioner – for updates on changes to practice under UK FoI Law which relates to FoI rights on reserved issues such as the economy and broadcasting; Scottish Government – for access to official information and read its Blog on ‘opendata‘; to the WHO (World Health Organisation); to the STUC. Scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s response to COVID-19: the Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament and by a specially created COVID-19 Committee. Scrutiny of the UK Government’s response is delivered by a range of Committees . The Council of the European Union confirmed on 21st April that it will continue to process requests for documents, doing its best to adhere to the 15 working day timeframe, during the ongoing ‘coronavirus crisis’.
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.