The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, published on 11 June 2005, includes a CBE for Professor Ken Reid of Edinburgh and the Scottish Law Commission, for services, not to Scots Law News (to which he has been a frequent contributor), but to law reform (where he has been the nemesis of feudalism – see Nos 50 and 400).  Congratulations.


On 7 June 2005 the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner ruled that the failure of the First Minister Jack McConnell to disclose in the Scottish Parliament’s register of members’ interests his holiday stay (with his family) in the Spanish holiday villa of TV presenter Kirsty Wark and her family did not amount to a benefit in kind and need not be registered (see previously No 436). The MSPs’ Code of Conduct requires them to register any foreign trips not paid for by the member, whatever their purpose or nature.  But the Commissioner found that Mr McConnell booked and paid for his family’s return flights and also paid for the hire of a car during the trip at Hogmanay 2004.


The first decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) was issued on 17 May 2005.  In it, the Commissioner explains his decision to uphold the applicant’s complaint about Lothian and Borders Safety Camera Partnership’s handling of his request for a safety camera calibration certificate. The information was only provided to the applicant after he had applied to the Commissioner for a decision.   The Commissioner found that the authority did not deal with the applicant’s request for information in accordance with Part 1 of FOISA. In his decision the Commissioner sets out a number of steps the authority should take to conform with the provisions of the Act. The decision can be found on the Commissioner’s website: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/appealsdecisions/decisions.