Ministerial cars: FOI review

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/02418 Date received: 20 November 2017
Date responded: 13 December 2017

Information requested

Correspondence relating to the use of a Scottish Government car or driver by the First Minister in the period March-June 2017, inclusive. Your request asked 'Please include any discussion of the potential use of cars as well as correspondence relating to eventual usage. Please include correspondence with all branches of the Scottish Government, not just that within the private office, and please include any correspondence with any transport contractor used to provide ministerial cars.'


I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with modifications.

In conducting my review I have considered the case afresh and taking account of the points you have raised in your request for a review I have concluded that an exemption under section 39(1) of FOISA does not apply to some of the information previously withheld. I have enclose a copy of this information in the Annex to this letter.

However, I am satisfied that an exemption under section 39(1) of FOISA continues to apply to some of the information you have requested because this information includes details which are historic but also remain reflective of the First Minister's current regular travel patterns. Releasing this information could endanger the First Minister because someone could use the information to work out a travel pattern of regular journeys and so be able to predict where the First Minister is likely to travel on a given occasion. This has the potential to increase the risks relating to her security, which in turn, might endanger community public safety and that of staff. This exemption is consistent with advice from Police Scotland.

In addition, an exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, the names/contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to 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.

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-17-02418-Correspondence regarding Ministerial cars.pdf


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Back to top