Minister Confirms FOI Extension Will Not Be in April 2019
The Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans has confirmed to SFHA that - whilst the intention of the Scottish Government is to proceed with extending Freedom of Information legislation to RSLs - due to continuing consideration of issues raised in consultation, including the timing of the order, the proposed commencement date of 1 April 2019 is no longer considered feasible in allowing sufficient time for RSLs to prepare for designation. A commencement date will be confirmed in Scottish Government's formal response to the consultation.
SFHA has argued that April 2020 would be a more realistic timeframe, subject to changes to the draft order as outlined in our consultation response.
In letters to both our CEO Sally Thomas and our Head of Public Affairs Sarah Boyack, Mr Dey stated that April 2019 would no longer be possible. It is not yet known what the alternative timescale will be, and Scottish Government are still considering the legal advice submitted by SFHA that underpinned its response, as well as the concerns we raised about other legislation that FOI extension may inadvertently cause RSLs to become subject to.
Mr Dey confirmed that Scottish Government will meet with SFHA in due course to discuss further. Mr Dey's letter to Sally Thomas is available to the right of this article and SFHA will keep members informed as this progresses.
SFHA has also met with the Scottish Information Commissioner, Daren Fitzhenry - who addressed our Governance Conference on 7 September. SIC are keen to work with SFHA to develop a series of training events to help with implementation when we are clear about the content of the order and timeframe for implementation. Daren's presentation is available below: