Happy Birthday to the Freedom of Information Act

Both the Guardian and Herald carry pieces today marking five years since the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act became law.

The Herald reflects on the impact of the Scottish Act, while the Guardian recalls some memorable stories uncovered through use of the legislation.

But, as the Guardian suggests, there are still problems for journalists using the act:

[J]ournalists have also criticised the act as a bureaucratic waste of time and money, with requesters complaining that important information is all too often redacted or withheld by authorities who are keenly aware of the news value of the material they hold (…) Some believe Whitehall and government ministers are getting bolder in manipulating the delays in order to scupper an already weakened FOI law. “It will take a huge scandal to get up steam for a reformed ‘strong’ law,” warns one reporter. “In the meantime, ministers are busy weakening it even further.”

On the other hand, are journalists bringing the act into disrepute through the stories they choose to use it for?

Full Guardian story at this link…

Herald piece: ‘The FoI rulings that left a mark on public life’

The Scottish Information Commissioner’s office has also produced this video, courtesy of Vimeo, on how the legislation has changed Scotland:

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