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, former 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.

Delegates will also hear from the new Scottish Information Commissioner, who came into post in October 2023.


With public responses to the government's consultation now online, we will be bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the impact of potential reforms, how organisations might be affected by their introduction and how they might prepare for change. The panel will also feature an input from Katy Clark MSP, whose consultation on a proposed FOI Reform Bill closed in March 2023.

Led by the Scottish Information Commissioner's office, and drawing on experience from the Commissioner's interventions to improve FOI performance, this session will feature organisations that have successfully delivered FOI improvements within their own organisations. Delegates will hear about the steps taken by practitioners to improve performance, learn about the barriers to improvement and how these were overcome, and gain insights into strategies that could be applied within their own organisations. 

Our second breakout session will be run by Anderson Strathern Director, Lorraine Currie, and focus on how organisations can manage vexatious requests. It will explore recent decisions made by the Scottish Information Commissioner's office around vexatious requests and provide guidance and practical tips on what authorities are required to do if they receive them.

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 opportunities for career progression? Our final session will seek to address these questions and showcase work already underway within the public sector.

Head of FOI Unit
Legal Manager
Account Director
Marketing and Communications Manager
Information Compliance Manager
Information Governance Manager
Scottish Information Commissioner
Deputy Director Information and Records Services
Senior Specialist Lead - Information Governance
National Organiser for Scotland
Executive Director | Lecturer in Law
Deputy Head of Policy and Information
Minister for Parliamentary Business
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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