Strong support for FOI in Scotland and demand for criminal offence for subverting access

Research by the Scottish Information Commissioner has found both strong public awareness of Scotland’s Freedom of Information (FOI) law, along with strong public support for FOI’s key principles of openness and transparency.

• 88% of respondents reported that they had heard of Scotland’s FOI Act.
• 97% agreed that it was important for the public to be able to access the information held by public bodies.
• 83% agreed that FOI helps to prevent bad practice in public bodies.

There is demand for reform of FOI law in certain key areas, the Commissioner says. These include extending FOI law to cover new bodies such as providers of publicly-funded care homes, and the introduction of a new criminal offence if staff working for public bodies try to subvert FOI legislation.

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