Correspondence about the proposal to set up a public energy company: FOI release

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

Information requested

All correspondence between Scottish Government special advisers, communications staff and ministers, and all briefing notes provided to ministers, about the proposal to set up a public energy company from the beginning of September 2017 to the end of December 2017 and proposals to set up a national public energy agency from the beginning of June 2021 to the end of September 2021.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. Most of the information you have requested is available from previous FOI releases published on:

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

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 an exemption(s) under section 29 (1)(a) (policy formation) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why this exemption applies are explained below.

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 to maintain an open and transparent government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in withholding active policy development. The policies being discussed surrounding the National Public Energy Agency in particular are very much still under development and have not yet been finalised. As such, releasing unconfirmed policy may undermine future policy decisions and cause confusion as these are likely to change.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202200298818 - Information release


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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