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Six Principles

Freedom of Information - The Scottish Government's Six Principles

The Scottish Government:

Supports Freedom of Information as an essential part of open democratic government and responsive public services.

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 provides significant and important rights to access information. We support the Act's underpinning principles by encouraging behaviour which is open, transparent and increases public participation.

Operates within the Freedom of Information ( Scotland) Act 2002 rather than propose significant changes to it, but adjusts the regime where it is necessary and sensible to do so.

The Act must operate well for both members of the public and Scottish public authorities. We will keep the Act under review by promoting good practice within existing frameworks and considering extending coverage.

Publishes information proactively wherever possible.

We will publicly demonstrate our commitment to open government and Freedom of Information by ensuring as much information as possible is made available without having to be asked.

Maintains the exemptions set out in the Act in particular to protect "private space" for Ministers and others to consider advice and reach decisions.

The Act provides for responsible openness. We will use the exemptions in the Act where appropriate to protect for instance the formulation or development of policy, Ministerial communications, or the uninhibited provision of advice.

Maintains effective relationships with the Scottish Information Commissioner and other key stakeholders.

We ensure the effective operation of the Act by fostering and maintaining good working relationships on Freedom of Information with stakeholders such as other public authorities and the Scottish Public Information Forum.

Creates and shares information thoughtfully with regard to the principles above.

To support the effective application of the Act, we create and share information thoughtfully, deliberately and purposefully with a view to upholding the principles above.