Access to information rights in Scotland

Closed 14 Mar 2023

Opened 29 Nov 2022

Results updated 20 Mar 2024


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation follows the work of the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee (PAPLS) in the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament, to undertake post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). 

The Committee’s report was published on 19 May 2020. The Scottish Government provided its formal response to the Committee’s report on 25 February 2021.  In that response the Government accepted the Committee’s central recommendation that there should be a consultation to seek the views of a wider set of stakeholders on the need for future legislative change, taking the Committee’s recommendations as its starting point. 

The consultation is split into four sections, reflecting the themes of the Committee’s report:

  • agility of the regime – maintaining and strengthening access to information rights in the context of varied models of service delivery 
  • developments in information technology – ensuring access to information rights in the face of changing modes of information use
  • improving proactive publication – promoting openness as ‘business as usual’ in a digital age 
  • technical and other issues – ensuring the Act remains fit for purpose

Read the consultation paper 

Why your views matter

"The Scottish Government welcomed the post-legislative scrutiny of the Act undertaken by the former Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee towards the end of the last session of the Parliament. We agreed that a decade and a half on from the original legislation coming into force, and the 2013 reforms having bedded in, the time was right for a fresh look at how the legislation was working for requesters, for public authorities subject to the legislation and their partners, and as a linchpin of democratic scrutiny in Scotland.

The report on post-legislative scrutiny raised some interesting issues and considerations in regard to the operation of the access to information rights regime. It produced a broad set of recommendations for areas where the Committee itself considered there was a need for further public consultation. The Scottish Government was pleased to agree that there should be a public consultation, to seek views from the wider public on the recommendations of the Committee.  I am pleased that we are now able to take forward this consultation to seek those wider views and evidence, taking the Committee’s recommendations as the starting point."

George Adam MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business


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