- 20 Apr 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/00869
Date received: 19 April 2018
Date responded: 21 March 2018
You asked for Correspondence (emails, typed or handwritten notes, letters, phone calls, minutes of meetings or otherwise) between members of the Council of Economic Advisers and SG Ministers on the topic of the 2018-19 Draft Budget.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested because an exemption(s) under section(s) s.27(1) (Information intended for future publication) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test
An exemption under section s.27(1) (Information intended for future publication) of FOISA applies to all of the information you have requested. One document fell within the scope of this request – minutes of the January 2018 meeting of the Council of Economic Advisors. The topic of Draft Budget 2018-19 was discussed at this meeting – with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution presenting a summary of the Draft Budget proposals – which was followed by a short discussion of both Draft Budget 2018/19 and wider fiscal matters. Minutes for this meeting are due to be published within twelve weeks of the date that we received this request – the minutes will be made available on the same website that houses minutes for previous Council of Economic Advisors calls or meetings:
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because this group provides expert advise to the First Minister and this will be met by our planned publication. In the meantime, there is a greater public interest in taking the time necessary to ensure the information has been properly collated and checked before it is published as planned. Also, we see no public interest in disrupting our programme of work to release the information ahead of the intended publication date.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House