Publication - FOI/EIR release

FOI clearance process for journalists, MSPs and political researchers:FOI review

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
6 Aug 2018
FOI clearance process for journalists, MSPs and political researchers:FOI review

FOI reference: FOI/18/01646
Date received: 16 July 2018
Date responded: 6 August 2018

Information requested

Information/Communications on the implementation of the FOISA clearance process for Journalists, MSPs and Political Researchers.

Response

Further to my letter of 16 July 2018, I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for Information/Communications on the implementation of the FOISA clearance process for Journalists, MSPs and Political Researchers.

I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed. The information from 2015, provided in response to your initial request, was the first iteration we found of the "process for clearance" considered by the Information Commissioner.

I can find no records relating to the authorisation, development or implementation of the process. However, by way of context it might be helpful to explain that it is a long-standing practice, predating the introduction of FOI legislation, for any enquiries from journalists to be channelled through Communications staff. The process for clearing FOI requests from journalists, MSPs and political researchers evolved from that general practice. I attach copies of the earliest records that I can find of relevant FOI guidance - from February 2005 (which mentions request from the media) and January 2006 (which mentions requests from the media and political parties (including MSPs, MPs, and their staff).

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG