(401) CONFIDENCE IN RELIANCE
CONFIDENCE IN RELIANCE
Kevin Dunion, the Scottish Information Commissioner, issued his first decision on 24 November 2004, following an appeal under the Code of Practice on Access to Scottish Executive Information, a non-statutory precursor to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act covering the Scottish Executive and some of its agencies. The Commissioner received a complaint from Nicola Sturgeon MSP over the decision by the Scottish Prisons Service (SPS) not to publish its contract with Reliance Secure Task Management in full. Following his investigation into the case, the Commissioner determined that the presence of a confidentiality clause in the contract meant that the SPS did not breach the Code when it withheld details of the contract. However the Commissioner expressed his dissatisfaction with the type of confidentiality clause entered into by SPS, and noted that the clause would not comply with good practice guidelines under FOISA. For background on Reliance, see Nos 350-1. Full text of the Commissioner’s decision at http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/decision.htm. Note that the Freedom of Information legislation comes into effect on 1 January 2005.