Under FOI I'd be grateful if you could provide me with the following information.
Any unpublished drafts of the Scottish Government paper, A Stronger Economy with Independence, which were shared internally in the 6 months prior to publication.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance an exemption under Section 30(c) (Prejudice to the Effective Conduct of Public Affairs) of FOISA applies to the information you have requested. The reason why this exemption applies is because releasing previous drafts of Scottish Government publications, which do not reflect final decisions taken, would result in inaccurate information on the Scottish Government’s proposals for an independent Scotland being published, thereby undermining the Scottish Government’s ability to effectively and accurately engage and communicate with the public. This in turn would be likely to impair the Government’s ability to take forward its work on policy development for an independent Scotland. This would constitute substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs in terms of the exemption.
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 enabling the Scottish Government to effectively and accurately engage and communicate with the public on its proposals for an independent Scotland without the risk of these proposals being prejudiced by inaccurate information, which doesn’t reflect final decisions taken, being released while the Scottish Government’s work was still under development on a matter of significant political relevance and controversy.
The Scottish Government’s proposals for the economy of an independent Scotland can be read in full at:
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
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