- 17 Aug 2020
Date received: 23 Jun 2020
Date responded: 21 Jul 2020
A full copy of the commissioned Deloitte Report 2019 in relation to the current SG Estates, Facilities and Security Services Delivery Structure.
You also asked to see all correspondence between Scottish Government and Deloitte on this matter.
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 some the information you have requested because exemptions under sections 30(b)(i) - Substantial inhibition to free and frank provision of advice, 30(c) (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) and 38(1)(b) personal data relating to a third party of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.
An exemption under section 30(b)(i) of FOISA applies to some the information you have requested.
Information is exempt under sections 30(b) if disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially: (i) the free and frank provision of advice (section 30(b)(i). This is because some of the report and correspondence which falls within the scope of your request were free and frank discussions between Deloitte's and officials with regard to decisions on internal team structures.
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 the public may be interested in the Deloitte report, in order to understand how decisions on structures may be informed by consultancy.
However, this is outweighed by the public interest in being able to rigorously consider our delivery structures, our maturity, issues and various recommendations to improve them, in a free and frank exchange with the confidence that decisions would remain between those officials concerned.
An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some of the information requested. Disclosing this information would substantially prejudice our ability to conduct Scottish Government processes such as Security and Business Continuity because disclosing this information in the report would substantially prejudiced SG's ability to ensure our buildings and staff are kept safe and secure.
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. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the process of the Scottish Government's security and business continuity and ensuring that the Scottish Government is able conduct this aspect of its business effectively.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to a some 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 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.
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