Publication - FOI/EIR release

First Minister's visit to Auschwitz: FOI release

Published: 10 Dec 2018

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

Published:
10 Dec 2018
First Minister's visit to Auschwitz: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/03251
Date received: 2 November 2018
Date responded: 4 December 2018
 
Information requested
 
You asked for: 

1. Copies of any emails relating to the First Minister’s trip to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in October 2018 between civil servants, particularly those sent to and from the press office in relation to the visit and staff within the office of the FM.

2. Copies of any correspondence relating to the First Ministers trip to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

3. Copies of any emails relating to the choreography of and practical arrangements of the photos that were taken.

4. Copies of photographs taken by the Scottish Government or on behalf of the Scottish Government. 
 
Response
 
1. I attach copies of some of the information you requested. 

2. 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.
 
3. 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 exemption(s) under section(s) s.28(1) (Relations within the UK), s.30 (b)(i) and s.30 (b)(ii) (free and frank provision of views and advice for the purposes of deliberation), s.32(1)(a)(i) (Relations between the UK and any other state), s.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.

4. Our aim is to provide information whenever possible.  However, in this instance, some of the information you have requested is not held by the Scottish Government for the purposes of FOISA because we received it in confidence from the UK Government. This means that, under the terms of section 3(2)(a)(ii) of FOISA,  we are unable to disclose it in response to your request. However, you may wish to submit a new request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH who should be able to help you further.
 
Reasons for not providing information 
 
Information is not held by the Scottish Government.

In response to questions 3 and 4 of your request, this information is not held by the Scottish Government as the Holocaust Educational Trust were responsible for organizing the official photographers who attended the visit to Auschwitz. 

Photographs taken by the Scottish Government are available at the following link – 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottishgovernment/ 

An exemption applies.

Exemption(s) under section(s) 38 (1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.  This is because it contains personal data relating to a third party. 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.

An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.

An exemption under section 28(1) of FOISA (relations within the UK) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would likely to, inhibit substantially provision of advice between UK and Scottish government departments.  

Exemptions under section 30 (b)(i) and section 30 (b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank provision of views and advice for the purposes of deliberation)  applies to some of the information you have requested. These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice. The exemptions recognise the need for officials to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice to both other government officials and Ministers in arranging overseas travel.  

An exemption under section 32 (1)(a)(i) (Relations between the UK and any other state) applies to some of the information you have requested. These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially relations between, in this case, Scotland and Poland. 

The above exemptions are subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all of the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemptions. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemptions. 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 allowing a private space within which officials can provide full and frank advice to Ministers, to enable all options to be properly considered, based on the best available advice, so that good decisions can be taken. 
 
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