Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish parliament's lobbying register: FOI release

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

Published:
13 Nov 2019
Scottish parliament's lobbying register: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900005015
Date received: 8 Oct 2019
Date responded: 5 Nov 2019
Information requested

Information relating to seven instances of lobbying of ministers, as disclosed in the Scottish Parliament's Lobbying Register. These meetings are:

1) GFG Alliance and Jamie Hepburn on 8/2/19
2) GFG Alliance and Jamie Hepburn on 31/10/18
3) GFG Alliance and Derek Mackay on 13/9/18
4) GFG Alliance and Keith Brown on 29/3/18
5) GFG Alliance and Fergus Ewing on 10/5/18
6) GFG Alliance and Derek Mackay on 8/8/18
7) GFG Alliance and Fergus Ewing on 12/3/18

In each case I would like to request the following relating to the lobbying:

a) Correspondence including, but not limited to, emails, text messages and hard copies sent up to one month before and one month after the meeting
b) Meeting notes
c) Any information material provided by the attendees to the minister
d) The duration of the meeting
e) In addition, for the dinner with Fergus Ewing on 10/5/18, please could I request a copy of the bill and information on who paid the bill.

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in ANNEX A and the attached pdf. 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 apply. Further explanation regarding the applied exemptions have been included in the ANNEX B.

ANNEX A

1) GFG Alliance and Jamie Hepburn on 8/2/19
a) See attached pdf.
b) The Scottish Government does not hold this information. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
c) See attached pdf.
d) Duration: 1 hour
e) N/A

2) GFG Alliance and Jamie Hepburn on 31/10/18
a) See attached pdf.
b) The Scottish Government does not hold this information. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
c) See attached pdf.
d) Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
e) N/A

3) GFG Alliance and Derek Mackay on 13/9/18
a) See attached pdf.
b) The Scottish Government does not hold this information. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
c) See attached pdf.
d) Duration: 1 hour
e) N/A

4) GFG Alliance and Keith Brown on 29/3/18
a) See attached pdf.
b) The Scottish Government does not hold this information. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
c) See attached pdf.
d) Duration: 45 minutes
e) N/A

5) GFG Alliance and Fergus Ewing on 10/5/18
a/b) The Scottish Government does not hold this information. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
c) See attached pdf.
d) Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
e) The Scottish Government has no information relating to the costs of the dinner. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

6) GFG Alliance and Derek Mackay on 8/8/18
a) See attached pdf.
b) The Scottish Government does not hold this information. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
c) See attached pdf.
d) Duration: 1 hour
e) N/A

7) GFG Alliance and Fergus Ewing on 12/3/18
a/b/c) The Scottish Government does not hold this information. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
d) Duration: Exact time unknown. Highlands and Islands convention 09.30 – 14.30.
e) N/A

ANNEX B

An exemption applies
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) also applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party 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
An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) also applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of one or all parties mentioned in the information. This exemption is also 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 and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of the parties involved.’

An exemption applies
An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the space for free and frank views to be exchanged in the future.

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 exchange views freely.

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.

201900005015 - Information released

176 page PDF
10.2 MB

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG