- 5 Feb 2019
Date received: 19 Dec 2018
Date responded: 31 Jan 2019
Please provide details and documentation of all discussion, correspondence and briefing provided to the Scottish Ministers relating to the two-child limit sent since 23 November 2018.
Please provide details and documentation of all discussion, correspondence and briefing provided to the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People relating to the two-child limit sent since 23 November 2018.
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested because exemptions under sections s.30(b)(i) Free and frank provision of advice, s.30(b)(ii) Free and Frank exchange of views and s.25 (1)(b) Ministerial Communications of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained below.
Some of the information you have requested is available from:
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
An exemption(s) under section(s) s.29 (1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.
Section 29 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure if it relates to:
- Ministerial communications
An exemption under section s.30(b)(i) Free and frank provision of advice and s.30(b)(ii) Free and Frank exchange of views of FOISA applies to the information you have requested.
Section 30 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure where disclosure would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm to one or more of the following:
- the free and frank provision of advice
- the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.
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, however, there is a greater public interest in high quality decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development 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. There is also a greater public interest in allowing a private space within which officials can provide full and frank advice to Ministers and other officials.
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 Andrews House