Scotland’s Freedom of Information regime is internationally recognised and we are determined to continue developing a culture of openness and transparency across our public services. My colleagues in the SNP Scottish Government have recently closed a consultation on extending Freedom of Information rights to Registered Social Landlords, on the basis that they undertake functions of a public nature, as part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that Scotland’s Freedom of Information legislation remains robust and up-to-date.
You make a number of important points about public access to the Royal Archive which are worth examination, but ultimately any extension of the freedom to access information should balance the public interest of the information being public, and the need for a private space for governance.
I would, however, make the point that The National Archive is not Britain’s official archive; rather it is the archive of the UK Government, and of England and Wales. The equivalent for Scotland is the National Records of Scotland, successor to the National Archives of Scotland. I would find it difficult committing to agree with proposals that would result in an England and Wales body having greater custody of records pertaining to Scotland. I would rather such proposals involved The National Records of Scotland.