Freedom of Information 2023

“It is essential that Scotland’s FOI regime is updated to keep pace with the changes that have taken place in the way that public services are delivered over the past twenty years.” – Daren Fitzhenry, Scottish Information Commissioner

In November 2022, two separate consultations on Freedom of Information (FOI) reform were launched – one by Katy Clark MSP and the other by the Scottish Government at Holyrood’s annual FOI conference. One year on – and as we approach the twentieth anniversary of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 coming into force – join us as we discuss the changes that could be made to enhance FOI law in Scotland.

Sessions will consider some of the proposed changes, including extending FOI legislation to third party organisations that deliver public services, and potential implications for practitioners.

As well as hearing the latest policy developments, attendees will get tips on how to overcome some of the common issues experienced by those involved in FOI and learn from colleagues demonstrating good practice in FOI.

Who should attend?

This event is relevant to people who work or have an interest in:

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

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

In March 2023, the Scottish Government concluded its Access to Information Rights in Scotland consultation and began analysis of the responses. With a formal response to the consultation expected from the government later in the year, our opening session will feature a keynote address from the Minister for Parliamentary Business, George Adam MSP, who will provide an update on progress and next steps.

With public responses to the government's consultation now online, we will be bringing together some of those who responded to hear their views on potential reforms, how they might be affected by their introduction, and how they might prepare for change. The panel will also feature organisations that responded to Katy Clark MSP's consultation on a proposed FOI Reform Bill, which closed in March 2023.

In this interactive session, you and your team will be battling the FOI clock, and other teams, to produce the best possible response to an FOI request. 

At each stage, your team will make decisions on how you'll proceed, based on the information given and your knowledge of FOISA. The decisions you make will determine whether you end up with a highly satisfied requester.

During the session, you'll have the opportunity to look at and discuss not only what makes the most citizen-centric approach, but also examine your organisational and administrative blockers.

Changes to policy and organisational processes all impact on how staff carry out their day-to-day jobs. But how can those involved in FOI develop their own personal skills, grow within their roles, and identify and pursue opportunites for career progression? Our final session will seek to address these questions and showcase work already underway within the public sector.

Nick McGowan-Lowe
National Organiser for Scotland
National Union of Journalists
Dr Sean Whittaker
Executive Director | Lecturer in Law
Centre for Freedom Of Information | University of Dundee
Lorraine Currie
Lorraine Currie
Anderson Strathern
Paul Mutch
FOI Officer - Policy and Information
Scottish Information Commissioner's Office
George Adam MSP
Minister for Parliamentary Business
The Scottish Government
Early Bird Rate


With annual income of less than £1m

£195 + VAT

Standard Rate

Public sector/voluntary/charitable

With annual income over £1m

£245 + VAT

Private Sector Rate

Commercial e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP

£295 + VAT

Group Discount

-20% pp for 2 or more people

Applies automatically at checkout

To view the Scottish Government's Access to Information Rights in Scotland consultation, click here.

To view Katy Clark MSP's consultation for a proposed Private Member's Bill, click here.

Event Details
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