November 26th 2019 | COSLA Conference Centre

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What happened in 2018


"I always learn something new and worthwhile when I attend this event"
- Andrew Gilmour, North Lanarkshire Council (FOI 2017)

The day’s agenda was packed in 2018, and there were sessions on subjects right across the FOI landscape. Chaired by journalist and broadcaster Liz Leonard, the conference heard from the new Minister Graeme Dey MSP and Scottish Information Commissioner Daren Fitzhenry.

Following Rob Edwards’ inspiring presentation on the importance of FOI in shedding light on issues and empowering citizens, conference broke into masterclasses on how Environmental Information Requests are being used in Scotland, what are the Commissioner’s ‘Interventions’, and how best to engage children and young people in FOI. There was a fascinating session on how taking an open government approach can promoting equality, how open data can shape public services and insights in how FOI has been used by campaign group Scotland Against the Care Tax to further their goals. Lastly, conference busted some of the myths behind commercial contracts and FOI, and heard how FOI should be extended to cover private contractors. The conference provided an opportunity for delegates to keep up to date on live FOI issues, to learn about specific issues and also to network with other colleagues.

Other speakers included:

  • Rob Edwards
  • John Walker MYSP
  • Graham Crombie and Jennifer Veitch, Scottish Government
  • Calum Morrison, Scottish Funding Council
  • Prof Colin Reid, Dr Jonathan Mendel, Dr Sean Whittaker, Dundee University
  • Kaela Scott, Involve
  • Peter Tolland, North Lanarkshire Council and Steven Revill, UrbanTide
  • Jeff Adamson, Scotland Against the Care Tax campaign
  • Hera Hussein, Open Contracting
  • Fiona Montgomery, UNISON