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Scotland to strengthen freedom of information legislation

Guardian Government Published 01 June 2012

Scotland to strengthen freedom of information legislation

Proposed bill will aim to make more information public, says Scottish government

A bill to open up the release of more information and strengthen the deterrent against the deliberate destruction or concealment of information has been introduced to Scottish parliament.

Key elements of the freedom of information (amendment) (Scotland) bill include greater flexibility in reducing the lifetime of exemptions and paving the way for more information to be made public earlier.

The Scottish government said the bill also makes its freedom of information (FoI) legislation stronger by strengthening its ability to prosecute where requested information had been deliberately altered, destroyed or concealed.

It is already Scottish government policy to open most closed files with historical records at 15 years, rather than the traditional 30. The bill would allow the Scottish government to bring all Scottish public authorities in line with this policy.

Brian Adam, the minister for parliamentary business and chief whip, said that Scotland's FoI legislation is recognised as playing a significant part in making the country a more "open, transparent and accountable society".

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