Friday, 5 February 2010

Freedom of Information - Is It Being Controlled by the Scottish Government?

Polaris at Whollyrude has a disturbing post about how the Scottish Government is 'turning away perfectly valid information requests'.

Kevin Dunion, the Scottish Information Commissioner and ex-Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth, has publicly stated that 'the Scottish Government has adopted a rather restrictive view of it and is now issuing, almost as a matter of course, refusal notices saying requests are invalid if they make reference to documents.'

Only 39% of people know that the FOI Act offers a legal right to obtain information held by public authorities. Dunion is keen to see more young people and pensioners using the Act, whose remit is expected to be widened soon to cover trusts running public amenities and private companies receiving contracts from public bodies.

May I suggest he sorts out the Scottish Government's attitude to providing information before the Act is widened. The few times I have sought information from public bodies through FOI the response was 'We are unable to provide you with the information you requested as it is restricted by the Data Protection Act'. Such a poor excuse.


Strathturret said...

Kevin Dunion is of course married to Ian Gray's first wife.

subrosa said...

Well well, I didn't know that Strathturret. Maybe she 'converted' him to a suit wearing executive by burning his sandals from his Friends of the Earth days.

Strathturret said...

Scotland is small country!

I think Kevin Dunion is very much a Labour luvie!

subrosa said...

Well he was appointed when labour was in power Strathturret. Maybe he wanted away from his tent in the woods which FotE seem to think is mandatory for all believers.

Strathturret said...

Both Gray and Dunion spent much of their formative years running charities.

subrosa said...

Shouldn't that be lobbying charities Strathturret? Maybe that's where they met.

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