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COSLA BACKS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

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COSLA has backed the Scottish executive's proposals for Freedom of ...
COSLA has backed the Scottish executive's proposals for Freedom of
Information in its response to consultation on consultation on the draft
Bill.
'COSLA has been a long time supporter of freedom of information legislation
and is committed to greater levels of openness, accessibility and
accountability in government and broadly supports the proposals contained in
the Bill,' the response says.
It continues: 'The proposed legislation is to be welcomed because it
develops the relationship between government bodies and the citizen; gives
the provision of information its rightful role in terms of governance and
accountability and established the role of a Scottish information
commissioner with strong powers.'
COSLA's response, agreed at today's meeting of Scottish council
leaders, also raises a series of issues on the details of the Bill,
including:
* the short time limit for handling requests for information
* the duty to publish information, to ensure that there is no
duplication as local government already publishes a great deal of
information
* anomalies over exemptions
* fee levels
* the internal review process
* codes of practice
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