December 6th 2017 | COSLA Conference Centre

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Wednesday, 6 December, 2017


Registration, exhibition and refreshments

Session 1: Reshaping the FOI landscape

To date, two orders have been made extending coverage of FOISA with a further extension of coverage currently under consideration.  At the same time GDPR and recent press reports on the management of FOISA are encouraging organisations to review practice around FOI requests.


Opening remarks from the chair

Keith Aitken, Journalist and Broadcaster


Opening address

Joe FitzPatrick MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business, The Scottish Government


Questions to the Minister


Scottish Information Commissioner’s address

Daren Fitzhenry, incoming Scottish Information Commissioner


FOI across the UK

Ken Macdonald, Head of Regions, Information Commissioner’s Office


Questions and discussions


Refreshments, exhibition and networking

Session 2: Masterclasses

Through a series of masterclasses delegates will be able to explore best practice in freedom of information.


1st Masterclass




2nd Masterclass

Masterclass A: The implications of GDPR for FoI: all change or more of the same?

This session seeks to provide an overview of the new data protection regulation, exploring its impact on freedom of information processes while providing an opportunity for delegates to discuss the interface between the two regimes.

Maureen Falconer, Regional Manager – Scotland, Information Commissioner’s Office

Masterclass B: Environmental Information Regulations

Speakers to be confirmed, The Scottish Information Commissioner’s Office

Masterclass C: An introduction to FOI for organisations recently made subject to FOISA

Andrew Hill, Head of Performance and Compliance, HMP Kilmarnock, Serco UK Central Government

Speaker to be confirmed


Lunch, exhibition and networking

Session 3: Information access – are we good enough?

Published in April 2017, the special publication ‘Proactive Publication: time for a rethink?’ states that “Publication of information is important to building and maintaining trust and confidence in public services.” Can Scotland do more to proactively release information? And how can we make information more accessible to those who sometimes struggle to access it?


Freedom of Information: where are we now and can we do more?

Carole Ewart, Co-convener, Campaign for Freedom of Information


Embracing open data


Freedom of information and young people


Questions and discussion


Refreshments, exhibition and networking

Session 4: Open information and government

Reports such as the Trust Baromester by Edelman suggest that there is global crisis in trust of government, business, media and non-governmental organisations. Can we help redress this trend in Scotland through legislation such as FOISA and by the public sector and it's partners being more open with their data and about how decisions are made?


The value of accessible information in an ‘alternative facts’ world


Panel discussion: Is open government more efficient?

Panellists include:

Paul Holleran, Scottish Organiser, National Union of Journalists

Further panellists to be confirmed


Closing remarks from the Scottish Information Commissioner

Daren Fitzhenry, incoming Scottish Information Commissioner


Closing remarks from the chair

Keith Aitken, Journalist and Broadcaster


Close of the event