Response 1018034222

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Chris Bartter

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Ticked Individual


1. Do you agree that freedom of information legislation should be extended to Registered Social Landlords, as proposed in this consultation paper?

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Ticked Yes

2. Freedom of Information can be extended to organisations that undertake ‘functions of a public nature’. You may wish to provide comments on how you consider that RSLs undertake functions of a public nature, for example, with reference to the factors referred to earlier in the consultation paper.

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Already some RSLs are covered ie. local authorities, it is long past time that all public housing providers become open to FoI requests from the people of Scotland, and subject to independent assessment of their transparency and accountability. They provide a clear public service, they are recipients of our money and should be accountable to our enquiries on those things.

3. The proposed order would be expected to come into force on 1 April 2018. Do you consider this a reasonable timescale, allowing for preparation for inclusion?

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Ticked Yes
If not, you may wish to indicate what timescale you feel would be more appropriate and why.
Housing Association have been aware of the commitment to extend FoI coverage since the Act was passed in 2002. They are also vocal about their existing commitment to transparency and provision of information. Therefore they should have little or no work to do to make themselves ready for FoI coverage.

5. We would welcome comments on how these proposals might impact on ‘Equality Groups’ i.e. in respect of age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexuality, children’s rights etc. Comments will inform the Equalities Impact Assessment and Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment to be completed following consultation.

Currently if Equality Groups (or anyone else) want to assess the effectiveness of housing services in dealing with their concerns across Scotland, they face a two-tier system. One tier where the providers are required to answer their queries, and one where they may if they think it appropriate. That cannot be either equitable or efficient.