Meetings with Women's Spaces in Scotland (Edinburgh): FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/01318
Date received: 8 May 2018
Date responded: 6 June 2018

Information requested

  • A copy of the notes that were taken at the meeting held between Scottish Government representatives and members of Women's Spaces in Scotland (Edinburgh) at Saughton House on 22 February 2018;

  • Any documents or correspondence pertaining to that meeting; and

  • Any other mention of Women's Spaces in Scotland currently held by the Scottish Government.


I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under section 29(1)(a) (formulation or development of Scottish Government policy), s.38(1)(a) (personal data relating to applicant) and section 38(1)(b) (personal data relating to third party) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained below.

Where necessary, we have also redacted or removed parts of documents and correspondence which are not information falling within the terms of your request.

Please note that the information released includes both handwritten notes of the meeting and rough typed notes of the meeting on 22 February 2018. Please note that the notes do not attribute statements or comments to any person or to the Scottish Government.

Reasons for not providing information

An exemption applies.

Exemptions under section 38(1)(a)(personal data of the applicant) and (b) (personal data of ) of FOISA apply to some of the information you have requested. Examples of information not released are the names and contact details of members of Women's Spaces in Scotland, as well as the names and contact details of some Scottish Government officials.

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.

An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.

An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some of the information requested because it relates to the formulation and development of the Scottish Government's policy on reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

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 high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on reform of the Gender Recognition Act will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government's view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.

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-18-01318 - related documents - pp. 1 -30.pdf
FOI-18-01318 - related documents pp. 31 - 61.pdf
FOI-18-01318 - related documents - pp. 62 - 92.pdf
FOI-18-01318 - related documents - pp. 93 - 118.pdf
FOI-18-01318 - related documents pp. 119 - 149.pdf


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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