Previous annual autism conferences: presentations and speaking note: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/00828
Date received: 8 March 2018
Date responded: 6 April 2018

Information requested

1. Presentations and other information provided at each of the previous annual autism conference;

2. Presentations given at the 2018 annual autism conference including the report and new priorities documents;

3. The information given in each response received during the engagement activity.


I enclose a copy of some of the information requested.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested, namely the presentations given at this year's and previous years' conferences. I have enclosed a copy of the Scottish Government's PowerPoint presentation from this year's conference, along with a copy of the programme, and the speech given by Ms Maureen Watt MSP, Minister for Mental Health. I should point out that the Minister may have made changes to the speech as she delivered it. I have also enclosed the PowerPoint and workshop presentations from the 2014 and 2015 conferences:

PowerPoint and workshop presentations - 2015 conference

PowerPoint and workshop presentations - 2014 conference

Engagement analysis report:

The Scottish Strategy for Autism Outcomes and Priorities 2018-2021

The Scottish Strategy for Autism Engagement Analysis

Microsegmentation report on the economic impact of autism in Scotland, which was recently published:

The Microsegmentation of the Autism Spectrum

The reasons why we don't have the other information you requested under points one and two are explained below.

In terms of point three of your request, we are unable to provide you with the information given in each response during the engagement activity because, in this instance, the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information would exceed the upper cost limit. More than 660 people responded to our online questionnaire (60 via hardcopy) and a further 600 attended our four engagement events. Our online questionnaire used a free-text approach so that many respondents have included personal information. Collating, redacting personal information and printing would require many hours of staff time. 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 engagement activity you are interested in, restrict your request to one of the themes identified in our engagement analysis, or specify the number of individual responses you would like (for example 50), as this would allow us to limit the number of individual responses we would have to consider and redact personal information. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs', which I have enclosed.

Reasons for not providing information

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not some of the information you have requested, namely conference papers given at each of the national autism conferences. This is because the Scottish Government did not undertake the administrative work involved in speakers' arrangements and presentations.

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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