Freedom of Information consultation to consider third sector

A consultation is under way on whether to extend Freedom of Information to cover organisations that provide services on behalf of the public sector, including potentially the third sector.

In June 2018, the Scottish Parliament agreed the Scottish Government should consult on proposals to further extend coverage of Scotland’s freedom of information legislation to companies providing services on behalf of the public sector.

This consultation seeks to establish the potential range of persons who may be identified as providing services on behalf of a Scottish public authority and to inform how the Ministers might prioritise designating them. This could potentially mean third sector organisations.

A consultation paper said the Government agreed to engage with the third sector “because third sector bodies can be publicly funded to exercise functions which may be considered to be of a public nature, or to provide services which are functions of an authority”.

The consultation focuses on organisations providing services on behalf of the public sector. For example, organisations delivering health and social care functions may do so under contract with a Scottish public authority to provide a service that is a function of that authority, and similar considerations may apply to some third sector bodies.

To take part in the consultation click here: www.freedom-of-information-extension-of-coverage/