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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Information Act brought forward
Kevin Dunion, Freedom of Information Commissioner
Kevin Dunion, Freedom of Information Commissioner
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is to come into effect a year earlier than legislation intended.

Implementation is now expected to take place on 1 January, 2005.

The legislation will ensure that bodies such as councils, health boards and government agencies open their files to the public.

Deputy minister for finance, public services and parliament Tavish Scott said it was a "tough but deliverable target" for Scottish local authorities.

It will support more open government and lead to increased public confidence in the decisions that affect all of our daily lives
Tavish Scott, deputy public services minister

He said: "This Act will undoubtedly ensure more openness and better scrutiny of government and the public sector in Scotland.

"It will support more open government and lead to increased public confidence in the decisions that affect all of our daily lives.

"I am delighted that the important new rights of access to information held by Scottish public authorities will now be available to each and every citizen a full 12 months prior to the date set out in the legislation.

Commissioner role

"This is the executive delivering its commitments by giving the people of Scotland a statutory right to Scottish information for the first time."

MSPs passed the Information Bill by 74 votes to 34 in April last year.

Jim Wallace, who was justice minister at the time, said it would tackle the culture of secrecy in Scottish public life.

Scotland's Freedom of Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion was appointed in December last year.

He said he was "honoured" to fill the post and looked forward to the challenges ahead.




SEE ALSO:
MSPs vote to fill 'freedom' post
12 Dec 02  |  Scotland
MSPs pass Information Bill
24 Apr 02  |  Scotland
Bid to end 'culture of secrecy'
28 Sep 01  |  Scotland
Call for stronger freedom law
03 Jan 01  |  Scotland


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