Scotland needs a new law to ensure transparency in government, according to experts at The Ferret’s annual conference.
The proposal was made by the Green MSP and land reform campaigner, Andy Wightman, during a discussion about freedom of information at the Symposium by the Sea at Anstruther in Fife on 9 September.
Other members of the panel agreed that the suggestion should be pursued. They included Moi Ali, who resigned from the Scottish Police Authority Board after an argument about transparency, and former civil servant, Lucy Hunter-Blackburn.
Gavin Sheridan, an information rights activist from Ireland, argued that civic society should draft the new law for the Scottish Government. He also argued that journalists should be more prepared to act as advocates for greater transparency.
Other members of the panel were the former Scottish Information Commissioner, Kevin Dunion (speaking in a personal capacity), and head of policy at the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Sarah Hutchison.
Wightman argued that a new law was needed to ensure that public agencies pro-actively released data in an understandable and searchable way. He promised to “crack on” with working up the idea.