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 2017 and October 2019.


28. As the first of our Six Principles of FOI sets out, the Scottish Government supports FOI as an essential part of open democratic government and responsive public services. We are therefore committed to making effective use of the powers in FOISA, including the section 5 power.

29. The section 5 power is used to protect and maintain existing information rights (as with the 2013 extension to certain arms-length external organisations) as well as expanding those rights further. This reflects the ever-evolving nature of the public sector and its delivery mechanisms.

30. Throughout the present reporting period, our principal focus has been on delivering the longstanding commitment to extend the coverage of FOISA to registered social landlords and their subsidiaries. Towards the end of the reporting period, our attention has turned to the next phase of extension of coverage, which focuses broadly on the potential for extension to organisations delivering services on behalf of the public sector.

31. We look forward to considering the consultation responses and then setting out next steps in the Spring. We will continue to assess options for future section 5 orders with the objective of ensuring coverage is robust and reflects changing patterns of public service delivery.



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