Information laws ‘should be extended’

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FREEDOM of information laws should be extended to private companies contracted to provide public services, Scotland’s Information Commissioner has said.

Such a move would ensure accountability and transparency where large sums of taxpayers’ money are involved, Rosemary Agnew said.

The Scottish Government recently passed FoI legislation, updating existing laws with measures such as removing the royal exemption. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a consultation would look into bringing arms-length external organisations under FoI.

The UK government announced in November that it does not intend to extend FoI to public service contractors.

“It is extremely important that the FoI principles of accountability and transparency apply when large sums of public money are spent on the delivery of vital public services,” Ms Agnew said.