Consultation process about Gender Recognition Act 2004: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02964
Date received: 30 November 2017
Date responded: 18 December 2017

Information requested

  1. Information about any other means by which the public can respond to the Scottish Government consultation on the proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act as it applies in Scotland;

  2. Information about the process by which the consultation questions and composition of the final online consultation were decided on;

  3. Information about the organisations and lobbying groups that were involved in the drawing up of the final consultation questions;

  4. Whether the final consultation was checked for bias and if so, by whom;

  5. To whom should you write to if you have further questions, concerns or other matters to raise with regard to the content or composition of the online survey.


I will take each of your questions in turn.

Some of the information you have requested is available from the consultation. The consultation is published on our website at and there is information on Citizen Space at Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. Nonetheless, the responses below include information taken from those sources. If you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the websites listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

1. The other means by which the public can respond to the consultation:

In addition to online responses submitted using Citizen Space, we will accept hard copy responses submitted by post. A hard copy response should be submitted along with a completed respondent information form to the following address:

Gender Recognition Review
Room GW-15
St. Andrew's House
Regent Road

The respondent information form can be printed and completed from this webpage:

At the moment, the Scottish Government does not have public meetings planned in relation to the consultation. I can advise you of any public events we do decide to hold, if you wish.

Please email me, write to me at the address above, or telephone me to let me know if you would wish me to do so.

In addition, the Scottish Government is happy to meet individuals or groups who wish to discuss points arising from the consultation. If you would like to meet, please contact me and we will arrange a meeting accordingly.

2. The process by which the consultation questions and composition of the final online consultation were decided on:

This consultation follows on the Scottish Government commitment to reform the 2004 Act so that it is in line with international best practice. This commitment is made in Action 13 of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan published at

The content of the consultation was approved by the Scottish Ministers. The lead minister in the Scottish Government in relation to the consultation is Angela Constance, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities.

The consultation was prepared by Scottish Government officials, working for the Scottish Ministers. The partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) at forms part of the consultation.

Section 2 of the BRIA notes officials from the Family and Property Law Team in Scottish Government worked with:

  • the Equality Unit (a team in Scottish Government);

  • Communities Analytical Services (a team in Scottish Government);

  • Scottish Government Human Resources;

  • National Records of Scotland

  • The Scottish Public Pensions Agency; and NHS National Services Scotland.

Other colleagues from across the Scottish Government also provided information for the consultation.

3. What organisations and lobbying groups were involved in the drawing up of the final consultation questions?

The Scottish Government drew up the consultation questions.

To help inform the consultation, we met a number of bodies beforehand, including:

  • Medical professionals. (The Scottish Government is on the Steering Group of the National Gender Identity Clinical Network for Scotland )

  • Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office;

  • LGBT Youth Scotland;

  • Equality Network/Scottish Trans Alliance;

  • Stonewall;

  • The UK Government; and

  • The Gender Recognition Panel

As the consultation indicates, we also drew on information from other countries in relation to their legislation on gender recognition.

4. Was the final consultation checked for bias, and if so, by whom?

The consultation paper sets out the consultation issues as clearly as possible. We have found that it is helpful for respondents to understand the Scottish Government's current position on matters, and to be clear about the boundaries of what the consultation is asking. However, we make sure that questions are clear and that they give respondents plenty of opportunity to disagree with Scottish Government's position, set out alternative positions, provide evidence and give views and opinions.

More information about the Scottish Government consultation process is at

5. To whom should you write if you have further questions, or concerns You can email or write to me at the postal address above or telephone me on 0131 244 4955.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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