Happy to do so.
FOI law provides a right of access to information that public authorities hold.
There are several examples of bodies subject to FOI law for part of their functions e.g., community pharmacists for the services provided under NHS contract, special schools for the grant-aided services under contract to local authorities. These bodies, in respect of the specified functions, are “Scottish public authorities” in terms of FOI law. While this might at first be quite alarming, it’s important to stress that the FOI designation doesn’t change anything else; the body is not a “public authority” for any other purposes - classification as a third sector or private sector organisation, or charitable status is unchanged.
There are three broad duties under FOI law: publishing information; responding to requests for information they hold; advising and assisting requesters.
Bodies that are subject to FOI for part of their function have to comply with those duties in relation to the information they hold around the specific function. So a special school has to respond to any request for information about its grant-aided function of providing education but not to requests about separate community-based activities. Of course there is nothing to stop a special school responding to all the requests it receives, it’s simply that now some requests carry a legal right and some don’t.
You mention minute-taking. FOI law doesn’t impose a duty on authorities to record information; it simply provides a right of access to the information the authority holds.
We give new bodies a lot of practical support to help them prepare for FOI law, including guidance and training. We’re happy to share our learning from the issues they encounter and the advice we give.