Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002: report on exercise of section 5 power

Report on the use made by the Scottish Ministers of their powers under section 5 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 to extend coverage of the FOI legislation between November 2019 and October 2021.

1. Other work undertaken during the reporting period

18. Whilst no orders under section 5 have been made during the reporting period, a number of bodies have been listed in schedule 1 to the Act and have become subject to FOISA as a consequence.

19. Under section 4 of FOISA the Scottish Ministers have the power to add to schedule 1 any body or office holder which is not already listed there and which is a Scottish public authority with mixed or no reserved functions. In May 2020, the Scottish Ministers exercised their section 4 powers to make the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (Scottish Public Authorities) Amendment Order 2020. This Order added the new Scottish Animal Welfare Commission to schedule 1, making it subject to FOISA from 26 June 2020.

20. There have also been a number of bodies added to schedule 1 by primary legislation:

(a) Consumer Scotland (Consumer Scotland Act 2020)

(b) Scottish Biometrics Commissioner (Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Act 2020)

(c) Scottish National Investment Bank (Scottish National Investment Bank Act 2020)

(d) Redress Scotland (Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021)

(e) Environmental Standards Scotland (UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021)

21. This demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that the coverage of FOISA keeps pace with changes in the public sector landscape.

22. Additionally, in March 2021 the Scottish Information Commissioner published his report on the experiences of RSLs one year on from their designation. This report drew from the 'Registered Social Landlords and FOI: One Year On survey' and the Scottish Information Commissioner's FOI statistics portal. The Commissioner's office sought input from Scottish Government officials on the design of the survey, and we are grateful to the Commissioner for formally sharing the report with us. The report found that RSLs were responding well to their FOI responsibilities.



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