First Minister's meetings October 2022: FOI release

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

Information requested

All internal and external correspondence within and sent or received by the Scottish Government including attached documents, meeting handouts, memos, briefings to ministers, attendee lists, location of meeting, notes, minutes, or OneNote memos, linked to the following meetings:

  1. Nicola Sturgeon's meeting with Stephen Cohen of BlackRock on October 3, 2022
  2. Nicola Sturgeon's meeting with Alison Rose of RBS on October 4, 2022
  3. Nicola Sturgeon's meeting with Tim Davie of the BBC on October 5, 2022
  4. Nicola Sturgeon's meeting with the CDL Domestic Resilience Briefing on October 13, 2022.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested which is related to meetings (1) between Blackrock and the First Minister, and (2) between RBS and the First Minister respectively.

With regards to the other two meetings (3 and 4) for which information has been requested exemptions apply which upon consideration means that information will not be released as part of this specific Freedom of Information request.

With regards to meeting (3) between Tim Davie of the BBC and the First Minister, exemptions under section 25 (1) apply as the requested details of this meeting have already been released as part of another FOI response (FOI case number: 202300338346) and will be readily available on the Scottish Government website.

On the request for information regarding meeting (4) which relates to CDL Domestic Resilience Briefing. As this meeting relates to discussions pertaining to national security exemptions under section 31 apply as exemption from disclosure is required for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

In terms of meetings (1 and 2), which are in scope for this request, while we endeavour to provide as much information as possible as part of the Freedom of Information process, exemptions under section(s) 30 (b)(i), 30 (b) (ii), 33 (1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

Firstly, exemptions under sections 30 (b)(i) and (b) (ii) apply to parts of the information requested as it is important that ministers and officials are given the space to exchange views in a free and frank manner for the purposes of deliberation to allow them to come to an informed and considered position.

Secondly, as these meetings relate to engagements with commercial companies some exemptions under section 33 (1)(b) apply to the information you have requested. This exemption is applied in this instance as disclosure of certain information would (or would be likely to) prejudice the commercial interests of the people or organisations referenced in this FOI response.

All these exemptions have been reviewed and have only been applied with reference to the public interest test. This means that, even if one of the above exemptions applies, the information has been disclosed unless the public interest in withholding it outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

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 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data, i.e. names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing this would contravene the data protection principles on Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.

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.

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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