THE SCOTTISH Government’s controversial proposals to restrict freedom of information (FOI) requests have been axed by MSPs. 

The timeframe for FOI responses had been extended to 60 working days under initial Scottish Government proposals, but the second wave of emergency legislation has reverting the rule back to the original 20-day deadline after opposition MSPs joined forces. 

Holyrood’s Covid-19 committee rejected the Scottish Government's attempts to change this to 40 days after amendments by Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer were agreed. 

He said: “I'm grateful that my amendments were passed unanimously, ensuring that the public, journalists and elected representatives have access to as much information as possible during this crisis. 

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“Confidence in government is critical right now but it depends on transparency. Restricting Freedom of Information was wrong and unnecessary, reflected but the fact that no other country in Europe has taken this step. The Greens are glad to have brought Scotland back in line with common standards of openness and transparency." 

Labour MSP Monica Lennon said: "To try to restore public confidence and trust it is important that we do have full transparency." 

She argued MSPs have struggled to get information and health data from ministers, adding: "We're routinely being told that the Scottish Government doesn't hold the information or we get a holding response." 

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Scottish Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins said: "All four opposition parties in the Parliament are united in their condemnation of what the SNP have sought to do here." 

The Scottish Parliament will vote on the amended legislation at stage three on Wednesday afternoon.