Interview with BBC Radio Scotland

Published on 4 December 2023

Professor Kevin Dunion spoke to BBC Radio Scotland about the Scottish Government’s response its own Access to Information Rights consultation.

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On the 28th of November 2023, the Scottish Government announced their proposed changes to the operation of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 in light of the consultation exercise that took place in late 2022. This response fell short in the eyes of many for declining to bring forward amendments to the law, and instead focusing on the implementation and operation of the Act in its current state.

Professor Kevin Dunion was invited to speak to BBC Radio Scotland about the Scottish Government’s response to the consultation. In his interview. Professor Dunion noted that, despite the success of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, the Act has failed to keep pace with how public services are being delivered.  In particular, he noted that the out-sourcing and privatisation of public services in health, social care and education removes the obligation on providers to disclose information, and to be scrutinised by the public. He said that existing powers under the Act to designate entities as public authorities needs to be reformed in light of the “sclerotic” pace of the Scottish Government in doing so. Only 3 designation orders have been made in the past 20 years, despite promises to ensure access to information rights keep up with changes in the delivery of public services.

The interview, which took place on The Sunday Show on the December 3 2023, can be heard at the 49:27 mark.