Scottish Government under fire for creeping tide of state secrecy : Daily Record.

Campaigners want the Scottish Parliament to scrutinise how information is released under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

The Scottish Government have come under fire for a creeping tide of state secrecy.

 

Campaigners yesterday voiced concern at the way rules on the release of information are applied.

They said it was time an inquiry was set up at the Scottish Parliament to deal with the problem.

Twenty-three media organisations, including the Record, have already raised fears with MSPs that freedom of information laws are “under great doubt”.

Now members of the Open Government Network for Scotland, which includes charities, academics and unions, have penned a letter that ratchets up those concerns.

The legal process of gaining access to public information has become bogged down with breaches, long delays and “tenuous” knock-backs, campaigners warned.

There is growing pressure on Sturgeon over FOI (Image: PA)

Matthew Rice, Scotland director of the network’s Open Rights Group who penned the letter, said: “The Scottish Government’s record on freedom of information has fallen short of the standard they have set themselves.

“The Scottish Parliament recognised this with a motion criticising the Government’s record in June, which was voted for by MSPs from all parties.

“Whether the failure is a cultural problem or a legal one, post-legislative scrutiny is vital to begin to work towards the answer.

“Freedom of information is a cornerstone of democracy.

“Journalists, campaigners and members of the public have used it to hold their public institutions to account for years, with some of the most significant exposés in Britain, such as the MPs expenses scandal, coming from the simple idea of being able to ask a question of public institutions and get a clear answer.

Read More : Daily Record.

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