Asking All the Right (Awkward) Questions; 'Freedom to Know' Laws Are Really Getting Results

Daily Mail (London), January 5, 2010 | Go to article overview

Asking All the Right (Awkward) Questions; 'Freedom to Know' Laws Are Really Getting Results


Byline: Andrew Picken Scottish Political Reporter

THOUSANDS of Scots are using 'right to know' laws to hold the country's public bodies to account.

The official in charge of Freedom of Information (FOI) laws has used their fifth anniversary to declare them a success.

Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion has also called for an extension of FOI powers to stop civil servants using 'arm'slength' companies to avoid releasing information.

This happens when public authorities create trusts to deliver services on their behalf, a move which can sidestep FOI rules.

The FOI laws - which allow anyone to ask a public authority for information it holds - were introduced in 2005. It is estimated that three-quarters of all FOI requests now come from members of the public.

Notable triumphs of the legislation have included the publication of MSPs' expenses, and making NHS Scotland release surgeons' patient mortality rates.

Yesterday, Mr Dunion said he was delighted so many people use FOI laws but called for them to be strengthened to ensure they cover all organisations funded by taxpayers.

Meanwhile, research shows voluntary sector workers are afraid to submit FOI requests to public bodies for fear of jeopardising their funding.

Mr Dunion said: 'The good news is that Scotland has become more open since freedom of information was introduced, with authorities disclosing more information than ever before.

'The bad news is that when authorities refuse to give information, they often fail in their legal duty to inform people of their right of appeal.'

However, the commissioner added: 'I am concerned that a substantial proportion of voluntary sector staff think using their FOI rights will harm relations with public authorities or lead to a loss in funding. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Asking All the Right (Awkward) Questions; 'Freedom to Know' Laws Are Really Getting Results
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.