Date: Mon 17 November 2008
Freedom of Information legislation should cover companies delivering
UNISON Scotland today criticised proposals to extend Freedom
of Information legislation for not promising to include companies
delivering PPP/PFI contracts.
Scottish Organiser Dave Watson said it was extremely disappointing
that today’s Scottish Government discussion paper is not proposing
to make all companies with PPP/PFI contracts and all leisure trusts
accountable under FOI laws.
The discussion paper states: "Our preliminary view is that
where contracts are for the provision of construction, maintenance
or cleaning etc, the contractor may not be performing functions
of a public nature or providing under a contract made with a Scottish
public authority a service whose provision is a function of that
Dave said: "To say that hospital cleaning services may not
be a public function seems utterly inconsistent with recent action
on hospital acquired infections announced by the Deputy First
Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
"I think the general public would be very strongly of the
view that hospital cleaning is a major health issue.
"UNISON wants to see the Scottish Government live up to
pledges of open government by actually making firms that sign
up to PPP/PFI contracts accountable to the public."
The discussion paper says that important considerations for extending
the Act include whether the organisation carries out significant
work of a public nature, receives significant public funding and
whether coverage would enhance transparency and accountability.
UNISON believes all these things apply strongly to PPP/PFI contracts,
many of which have been criticised by Ministers for ripping off
the public purse with credit card levels of repayment.
Note to Editors: The Scottish Government seems to regularly
be failing to live up to pledges on open government, including
refusing to provide information this summer to UNISON on PPP/PFI
contracts by using the ‘figleaf’ of saying it would cost more
See 'Open’' Scottish Government Hides PFI Information from the
For further information please contact: Dave Watson, Scottish
Organiser 07958 122 409 (m)