Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence between SG and Russia Today: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
Published:
19 Dec 2017
Correspondence between SG and Russia Today: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/17/02782
Date received: 16 November 2017
Date responded: 14 December 2017

Information requested

You asked for:

  1. "Correspondence between the First Minister's Office and Alex Salmond from 21 November 2014"

  2. "From Russia Today and the First Minister's Office from the same date"

  3. "Correspondence between Alex Salmond and the Scottish Government … from the same date."

  4. "Correspondence between … Russia Today and the Scottish Government from the same date."

Response

1. I attach a copy of the information you requested at Annex A. An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, name and contact details of an individual, 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.

2. Whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

3. In this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is that to locate and retrieve that information we would need to conduct a search of all of the records of the Scottish Government. It may help if I explain that we file our information according to the subject matter, not by reference to the name of organisations with whom we have corresponded. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. For example, you could specify the subject matter(s) of the correspondence you are interested in or restrict your request to a specific business area of the Scottish Government, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on her website at:Commissioner's Tips

4. Some of the information you have requested is available at Annex B. This covers the dates 21st November 2014 to 20th October 2015 inclusive. An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, name and contact details of an individual, 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.

Whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested from 20th October 2015 to 31st December 2015 inclusive. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

Additionally, some of the information you have requested is available from SG publication 02626 and SG publication 02627. This covers the dates 1st January 2016 to 16th November 2017 inclusive. 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 me again and I will send you a paper copy.

About FOI

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

FOI-17-02782-Annex A-Letter.pdf

1 page PDF
536.7 kB

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG