Publication - FOI/EIR release

Details of the FinTech Scotland business plan : FOI release

Published: 17 May 2018

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

Published:
17 May 2018
Details of the FinTech Scotland business plan : FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/00864
Date received: 21 March 2018
Date responded: 16 May 2018

Information requested

Details of the FinTech Scotland business plan established between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh.

Response

The attached documents agreed by these parties do not constitute a formal business plan.

The documents agreed were an initial proposal drafted by Deloitte in advance of Fintech Scotland's establishment and should be read in that context. These documents do not form any part of FinTech Scotland's current or future plans or operating model.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information requested because exemptions under section(s) 30(c)(effective conduct of public affairs) and s33 (1)(b) (commercial interests) of FOISA apply to that information.

Section 30(c)(effective conduct of public affairs)

This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to: have a substantial impact on our relationship with stakeholders, making them less likely to provide information of this nature in future which in turn will impact on our ability to make informed policy decisions. This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which to communicate with appropriate external stakeholders as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government's position on FinTech Scotland, until the Government as a whole can adopt a decision that is sound and likely to be effective. This private space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, so that good decisions can be taken based on fully informed advice and evidence. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between the Scottish Government and these stakeholders, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the public interest.

33(1)(b) (commercial interests) This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially FinTech Scotland's business planning and development of its future operating model. This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which enter into Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

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

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