Correspondence regarding Mermaids charity: FOI release

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

Information requested

All correspondence (including emails, attachments, typed or handwritten notes, letters, notes/records of phone calls, minutes of meetings, briefings, WhatsApp messages or otherwise) regarding the Mermaids Charity from 25 September 2022 onwards.


I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.

Some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament websites here: Communications regarding Mermaids charity since May 2021: FOI release - and S6W-11735 | Scottish Parliament Website. 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 websites listed, then please contact us again and we 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 exemptions under sections s.38(1)(b) (personal data) and s.30(b)(i) (free and frank exchange of views) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.

Exemptions under sections s.30(b)(i) and s.38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. For s.30(b)(i) (free and frank exchange of views), this is because the disclosure of this information would inhibit vital deliberation between officials.

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 elevated public interest in transgender equality issues and concern around the Mermaids charity. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring officials are able to deliberate in order to facilitate key governmental functions such as responding to Parliamentary Questions or providing accurate information and responses to members of the public or the media.

For s.38(1)(b) (personal data), this is because the information could identify individuals and through their contact details or other identifying information. 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.

About FOI

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

202200329739_Information for 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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