Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information related to free sanitary products in Scottish Government buildings: FOI release

Published: 11 Sep 2018

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

Published:
11 Sep 2018
Information related to free sanitary products in Scottish Government buildings: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02126  
Date received: 8 August 2018
Date responded: 5 September 2018
 
Information requested
All correspondence that has been made in relation to the possibility of introducing free sanitary product in female toilets at all Scottish Government buildings? As part of your response, I would like to know how much it would cost a year?
 
Response
In response to the first part of your request a copy of the information you requested is contained in PDF file below.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions apply as follows
  •  Section 27(1) of FOISA applies to that information. The information exempted relates to the Equalities Impact Assessment for this policy.
  •  Section 29(1)(a) of FOISA applies to that information. The information exempted relates to the formulation or development of Scottich Government policy.
  •  Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to that information. The information exempted relates to names and contact details of individuals.
The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.
 
In response to the second part of your request on the cost of this policy we estimate that this will cost £25,000 per annum.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.
An exemption under section 27(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information requested because we intend to publish that information within 12 weeks of the date of your request. We consider that it is reasonable to withhold the information until that date, rather than release this before the planned publication date.
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 of the wide general interest in this policy 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.
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.
An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some the information requested because it relates to the formulation of the Scottish Government’s policy on access to free sanitary products.
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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government’s view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.
Section 38(1)(b) – applicant has asked for personal data of a third party
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.
 
About FOI
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

foi-18-02126 Full document set

42 page PDF
1.3 MB

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