Freedom of Information 2022

Freedom of Information

Holyrood’s annual FOI conference will be returning in-person for the first time since 2019.

Despite challenges caused by the pandemic, Freedom of Information (FOI) in Scotland has fared well over the past two years. However, two decades after the passage of Scotland’s FOI law, it is clear that there are areas for improvement.

With the Scottish Government due consult on potential changes to FOI – following the Scottish Parliament’s post-legislative review of FOISA in 2020 – and plans to extend its coverage to more organisations providing public services, this event is the ideal opportunity to hear about the next steps for FOI in Scotland.

Bringing together key stakeholders, sessions will focus on what the possible changes could be and how they might affect those working in the public and third sectors. As always, we’ll showcase examples of best practice in the delivery of existing legislation and share tips on how to overcome common issues experienced by those involved in FOI.

The event will be chaired by Dr Sean Whittaker, Executive Director, Centre for Freedom of Information and Lecturer in Law, University of Dundee. With keynote addresses from George Adam MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business at the Scottish Government and the Scottish Information Commissioner, Daren Fitzhenry, this is a must-attend event in the FOI calendar.

Who Should Attend?

This event is relevant to people in the public and third sectors who work in:

  • Freedom of information
  • Information governance or compliance
  • Records management
  • Data protection

This event is supported by the Scottish Information Commissioner’s Office

Following the launch of Katy Clark MSP’s consultation on proposed reforms to FOI legislation, in this session we will hear from Ms Clark and others about the proposals - including extending FOI to all bodies delivering public services. We will consider how these proposals might affect implementation of FOI and discuss what other potential changes delegates would like to see made to legislation.

Here we will consider the role that FOI can play in countering the spread of misinformation. Discussion will focus on the importance of transparency in building trust and informing public debate.

In this session, we will hear from two individuals who have successfully used FOI to help achieve an objective. The requesters will explain what led them to use FOI, how they found the process and any changes they would like to see made to it.

A – Beating the FOI Clock 

Led by the Scottish Information Commissioner’s Office, Workshop A will feature organisations that achieved FOI on-time response rates of 98% or above over the last year and will explore lessons and learning for other organisations to support on-time compliance. Practitioners will outline measures they have put in place to support compliance and will share strategies, tips and approaches to help others focus on improvement in this important area.

B – Managing Requests for Third Party Data

Workshop B will provide an overview of the practical considerations that need to be taken into account when dealing with FOI requests that involve third-party data. Delegates will be updated on recent decisions and hear how the proposed changes to UK data protection law may affect the processing of FOI requests.

Reduced Rate


With annual income of less than £1m

£195 + VAT

Includes on demand access

Standard Rate

Public sector/voluntary/charitable

With annual income over £1m

£245 + VAT

Includes on demand access

Private Sector Rate

Commercial e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP

£295 + VAT

Includes on demand access

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