Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood

Freedom of Information 2020

With Daren Fitzhenry, Scottish Information Commissioner

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of transparent, accountable public services, but what impact has it had on the FOI system, and has it made us think differently about the framework that is in place?

In May 2020, the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee published its post-legislative scrutiny report into the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). The report made several recommendations on how to refine Scotland’s FOI framework but was unable to incorporate people’s experiences with FOI during the early stages of the pandemic. 

This year, Holyrood’s annual FOI conference will take place virtually, and will provide stakeholders from across Scotland - including those working within local authorities and health boards - with the opportunity to explore these issues. Discussion will focus on how organisations have responded to FOI requests during the pandemic, how they have managed resources and competing priorities; and how the FOI framework could be strengthened or adapted in the future. 

Join key decision makers on 1st December as we consider what is next for FOI in Scotland. 

Agenda and Confirmed Speakers

Reflections: FOI in 2020   

  • Daren Fitzhenry, Scottish Information Commissioner 
  • Carole Ewart, Convenor, Campaign for Freedom of Information Scotland 

Lessons from the Pandemic: Responsivity, Standards and Competing Priorities  

  • Senior representative, health board   
  • Sheena Brennan, Information Manager (Disclosure), Police Scotland  


Top Tips for Compliance and Remote Working - with Q&A

  • Fiona Killen, Partner, Burness Paull 

Regional Approaches to FOI - with Q&A

  • Senior representative, case study
  • Senior representative, case study

Transparency and Accountability as Key Priorities

  • Senior speaker confirmed from UNISON 
  • Senior representative, local authority 

Restoring Public Trust in Information

  • Senior representative, fact-checker/journalist 

Health Related Data: Public Expectations and Proactive Publication

  • Phillip Couser, Director of Data-Driven Innovation, Public Health Scotland 


Closing Keynote - with Q&A

  • Senior representative, policy      

Get In Touch

Get in touch via email or book now

We are always on the lookout for new speakers. If you have an inspiring case study or a project that you think is relevant, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Back to top
1 Dec 2020
Reduced Rate
1 place £72.50 + VAT

Voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m

Standard Rate
1 place £122.50 + VAT

Public sector organisations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m

Private Sector Rate
1 place £147.50 + VAT

Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP

Book now
Related events See all

The wide range of speakers, combined with a varied selection of workshops, means that everyone will find something that is relevant to their organisation's needs, and the broad appeal of the agenda provides a great mix of people for networking and sharing ideas across sectors.

Paul Stones, Depute Head, Mariner Support Service Feedback from delegate, who attended Holyrood's Learning Through Technology 2017 event
Back to top