- 12 Apr 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/00740
Date received: 9 March 2018
Date responded: 6 April 2018
Requested information on the dates and times that Scottish Government Ministers, Junior Scottish Ministers, their advisers and civil servants/public servants met with RSLs, their advisers, agents and umbrella groups representing their interests to discuss the designation of RSLs and their subsidiaries under FoISA, and/or matters connected with the EIR(S)s. We also request the same breakdown of information for meetings held with tenants, their advisers and agents as well as campaign groups representing their interests.
In addition we would like to have a copy of all agendas, minutes and papers shared at, in advance or subsequently to, these meetings.
The time frame we are focusing on is form 1st December 2016 to 9th March 2018. We request the start and end times for each of these meetings'.
In response to your request, meetings took place between Scottish Government officials and RSL officials (or umbrella groups representing RSL interests) on:
21 August 2017 (10.00-11.00) - with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF)
6 September 2017 (11.30-12.30) – with Wheatley Housing Group
11 September 2017 (11.30-12.30) – with Blackwood Homes and Care 30 November 2017 (14.30-16.00) – with the SFHA and GWSF
These meetings were in context of discussion of the issues raised by these various organisations in consultation responses, for information available at: https://consult.gov.scot/freedom-of-information/foi-social-landlords/. No agendas, minutes or papers were shared at, in advance or subsequently to these meetings – section 17(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) therefore applies to this element of the request.
In addition, on 8 March 2018 (13.30-14.00) the Minister for Parliamentary Business met with representatives of the SFHA. The agenda for this meeting was:
'Issues arising from proposals to extend the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 to Registered Social Landlords'.
Following this meeting a brief note was made and shared with SFHA and, while not held at the time of your request, is provided as the annex to this response.
It should be noted that all times stated above refer to room bookings/timeslots for the meetings. No record is held of when meetings actually started or concluded as we do not routinely record the start and end time of meetings. Therefore, for the purposes of FOISA this is information we do not hold and section 17(1) of FOISA applies.
Scottish Government officials regularly attend meetings with tenants/tenant representative groups. Reference to discussion on the designation of RSLs can be found in the minutes of those meetings dated:
- 1 December 2016
- 13 December 2016
- 30 January 2017
- 7 February 2017
- 8 February 2017
- 21 February 2017
- 23 February 2017
- 22 January 2018
- 24 January 2018
Minutes of these meetings are published on the Regional Network website at:
https://www.regionalnetworks.org.uk/joint-meetings. 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 website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy. 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.
For completeness, the agenda of the 7 February 2017 meeting refers to 'FOI Consultation' and the agenda of the 23 February meeting refers to 'FOI – R7 Reponse'.
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 Andrew's House