Regarding the Deposit Return Scheme letter to MSPs:
- The identity and/or position of the person who wrote the letter.
- All drafts of the letter, including any comments from Scottish Government employees (Ministers, Civil Servants, Special Advisers, or Press Officers).
- The identity and/or position of the Scottish Government employee who approved the final text of the letter.
As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
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, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
1. The Deposit Return Scheme – letter to MSPs, dated 9 February 2023, was written by the Policy Engagement and Capability Manager within the Division for Circular Economy.
2. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested because an exemption under regulation 10(4)(d) Material in the course of completion, unfinished documents, or incomplete data of EIRs applies to that information.
This exception is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking into account all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of an open, transparent and accountable government.
However, there is a greater public interest in allowing a private space for officials to consider draft content of letters to ensure that factual and accurate information is released in the public domain for consumers, retails and producers.
You may wish to refer to the final version of the Deposit Return Scheme – letter to MSPs which is published on the Scottish Government website.
3. The published version of the Deposit Return Scheme – letter to MSPs was approved by Lorna Slater MSP in her role as Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity.
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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