Publication - FOI/EIR release

Multiple questions on Chief Scientist Office operations:FOI release

Published: 6 Sep 2018

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

Published:
6 Sep 2018
Multiple questions on Chief Scientist Office operations:FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02166
Date received: 9 August 2018
Date responded: 4 September 2018
 
Information requested
In responding to the request we will answer each of the questions asked separately.

Request (1)
“Please could you send me a pro-forma example of the new reporting format for this year (although there is no need if you send this in 2a) and the proposed format for next year”
Response 
Response to request
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained below.
Request (2)
“Please tell me what you spend by illness if you have started reporting this since I last asked this question.”
Response to request
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under section 14(2) of FOISA a public authority is not required to comply with a request for information if it is identical or substantially similar to a request which it has already complied with, unless a reasonable amount of time has elapsed between the two requests.
This request is substantially similar to your previous request which we complied with on 24 April 2017. We have also responded to a number of further points of clarification in separate correspondence over the period up to 5 September 2017 and further responded to a similar query on 4 December 2017. The Scottish Information Commissioner’s guidance on repeated requests available online (http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/FOISA-EIRsGuidance/Section14/Vexatious_or_repeated_requests.aspx) says that in considering whether a reasonable period of time has elapsed between the previous request and the new request, there are two questions which will help the authority:
(i) has the information changed?
(ii) have the circumstances changed?
In this case, the information we hold is the same as at the time of your previous requests. We have also considered the circumstances and have concluded that there has been no significant change. For these reasons, we consider that your request is repeated and we are not obliged to comply with it.
Request (3)
“Do you have plans to report this (A may provide an answer to this)?”
Response to request
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained below.
Request (4)
“How many peer reviews do you aim to get before you fund a project. If this varies depending on certain characteristics of the grant please state this. Is this in line with MRC or NIHR guidelines or are they your own?”
Response to request
The answer to your question is that information on the application process and peer review is provided on the CSO website (https://www.cso.scot.nhs.uk/funding-2/response-mode-funding-schemes/) Funding decisions are based on advice given to the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office by the relevant research advisory committee.
Request (5)
“You sent me peer review information on the £4m Precision Medicine investments (Project Panc, MS and to support the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre, SMS-IC)
a. What you sent me included only 1 peer review response for the cancer project. Please will you confirm that there were no peer reviews completed for the MS project or the SMS-IC investment. If there were more please send them to me.
b.Part of this proposal was that SMS-IC would be self funding at the end of the grant in March 2017 please could you send me any post project review papers you have on the success or otherwise of this CSO investment
Response to request
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under section 14(2) of FOISA a public authority is not required to comply with a request for information if it is identical or substantially similar to a request which it has already complied with, unless a reasonable amount of time has elapsed between the two requests.
This request is substantially similar to your previous request which we complied with on 27 June 2018 (FOI/18/01684). In this response we provide all information held pertaining to the review of the proposal as requested. It may be of use for you to know that the purpose of the Precision Medicine Ecosystem is to bring together healthcare, life sciences and academic organisations that want to align their activities through partnership to deliver precision medicine programmes more efficiently and effectively. The PME funding was initiated by a business proposal. The PME comprises infrastructural investment and 2 exemplar projects in Multiple Sclerosis and Pancreatic Cancer.
Request (6)
“You sent me peer review information on the £4m Precision Medicine investments (Project Panc, MS and to support the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre, SMS-IC)
a. What you sent me included only 1 peer review response for the cancer project. Please will you confirm that there were no peer reviews completed for the MS project or the SMS-IC investment. If there were more please send them to me
b. Part of this proposal was that SMS-IC would be self funding at the end of the grant in March 2017 please could you send me any post project review papers you have on the success or otherwise of this CSO investment
Response to request
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained below.
Request (7)
“Previously you have sent me review documentation/links for your units like HERU, HSRU, NMAHPRU
a. Please could you send to me the peer reviews of their latest quinquennial reviews and
b. Their forward looking proposals for new funding made at the time and
c. The peer reviews of these forward looking proposals
Response to request
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained below.
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/contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in the Data Protection Act and Regulations. 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. This information where present has been redacted from the information provided.
It may be of use for you to know that each unit is reviewed by a bespoke panel of independent experts with knowledge and expertise to provide scientific scrutiny and peer review of the specific area of research covered by each unit.
Request (8)
“Previously you have sent me review documentation/links for your units like HERU, HSRU, NMAHPRU
a. Please could you send to me the peer reviews of their latest quinquennial reviews and
b. Their forward looking proposals for new funding made at the time and
c. The peer reviews of these forward looking proposals
Response to request
You have already been provided with the information requested under a previous request which we complied with on 16 March 2018 (FOI/18/00527).This information was provided with the unit papers provided.
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have a copy of this response please contact me again and I will send you a copy.
Request (9)
“Previously you have sent me review documentation/links for your units like HERU, HSRU, NMAHPRU
a. Please could you send to me the peer reviews of their latest quinquennial reviews and
b. Their forward looking proposals for new funding made at the time and
c. The peer reviews of these forward looking proposals
Response to request
Please see response to request 7.
Request (10)
“Please could you send to me the peer reviews for these projects. I use the File Reference number you have previously provided me with when you sent me the files Data1-Data6
a. TCS/16/25
b. HIPS/16/59
c. HIPS/16/49
d. CAF/16/06
e. CZH/4/1084
Response to request
I enclose a copy of all of the information you have requested.
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/contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in the Data Protection Act and Regulations. 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. This information where present has been redacted from the information provided.
Reasons for not providing information
Response 01 - The Scottish Government does not have the information.
Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have the information you requested. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because the proforma document requested does not currently exist.
Response 03 - The Scottish Government does not have the information.
Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have the information you requested. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because the plans requested do not currently exist.
Response 06 - The Scottish Government does not have the information.
Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have the information you requested. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC), in common with a number of other innovation centres, is currently subject to a funding review being undertaken by the Scottish Funding Council. The information you have requested is therefore not available at this stage.
Response 07 - The Scottish Government does not have the information.
Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have the information you requested. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for pertaining to the HSRU unit as the review has not yet been completed.
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

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