The Scottish Government published a consultation document in December 2016, seeking views on whether the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) should be extended to Scottish registered social landlords (RSLs). Consultation responses have now been received, 73 of which have been published.
Analysis of the responses
The overwhelming view (over 70% of published responses) is that FOISA should be extended to RSLs, with the majority (almost 60% of published responses) favouring extension from 1 April 2018. Indeed, 6 respondents suggested that FOISA ought to be extended earlier than April 2018.
The principal reasons favouring extension highlighted by respondents are:
RSLs undertake essential functions of a public nature, which are derived from statute and are publicly funded, and which would otherwise be performed by local authorities;
the transfer of housing stock from local authorities to RSLs has negatively impacted information rights, making it difficult for individuals to find out where information is available;