- 31 Jan 2019
Date received: 16 November 2018
Date responded: 30 January 2019
A copy of the FOI case log.
A copy of all correspondence that includes any of the following:
1. Government Ministers or their direct support staff
2. The Director of Economic Development
3. Special Advisers
Annex 1 – FOI Case Log for 18-01835 18-02239 18-02803; and
Annex 2 – Correspondence for 18-01835 18-02239 18-02803
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 under section 38(1)(b) (personal information) and section 30(b)(i) (Free and frank provision of advice) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
Annex 1 and 2 will be updated to ensure that your name is redacted from the case logs and correspondence we publish on the Scottish Government external website.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some 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 Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.
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 s.30(b)(i) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. One paragraph from the email dated 10 October 2018 has been redacted.
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 allowing a private space within which officials can provide full and frank advice to other officials, as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government’s position on the confidential nature of information. This private thinking space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, based on the best available advice, so that good decisions can be taken. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between Ministers and officials, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the public interest.
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