Publication - FOI/EIR release

Citizen's basic income pilots: FOI release

Published: 22 Jun 2018

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

Published:
22 Jun 2018
Citizen's basic income pilots: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01534
Date received: 30 May 2018
Date responded: 22 June 2018

Information requested

Correspondence between councils and the Scottish Government on the citizen's basic income pilots from 1 March 2018 including the Fund and the proposed pilots; for the business cases submitted by the councils on the pilots; for briefings prepared by civil servants for Scottish Government Ministers on the citizen's basic income pilots from 1 March 2018; for the amount of money awarded to councils for research on the pilots to date and for Scottish Government correspondence with DWP, the Cabinet Office and the Scotland Office on the pilots or citizen's basic income from 1 March 2018 onwards.

Response

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

You also asked for the amount of money awarded to councils for research on the pilots to the date of your application [30 May 2018]. To the date of your enquiry no award had been made to councils for research on the pilots. Confirmation of intent to award from the Citizens Basic Income Fund was issued from the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, this was outlined on the pilot authorities website on 24 May 2018, and can be accessed via the link below:

http://basicincome.scot/2018/05/24/green-light-for-basic-income-pilot-thanks-to-successful-funding-bid/

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 the following sections of FOISA apply to that information:

  • s.25(1) (information otherwise available)

  • s.29(1)(a) (formulation or development of Scottish Government policy)

  • s.30(b)(i) (free and frank provision of advice)

  • s.30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views)

  • section s.38(1)(b) (personal information)

  • section s.33(2)(b) (Commercial interests and the economy)

The reasons why that exemptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

Exemptions apply not subject to the public interest test.

An exemption under section s.25(1) (information otherwise accessible) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

This information is published at http://basicincome.scot/2018/05/24/green-light-for-basic-income-pilot-thanks-to-successful-funding-bid/ - and where appropriate has been annotated as such.

A copy of the business case submitted by local authorities was also published at http://basicincome.scot/wp-content/uploads/sites/75/2018/04/CBI-fund-application-290318-PUBLIC.pdf

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. Should you be unable to access the information on this website please contact me and I can provide this in an appropriate format, where possible.

An exemption under section s.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

The personal information, including names and contact details, of officials is there own personal information and is therefore exempt under FOISA.

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. Exemption apply, subject to the public interest test.

Exemptions under s.30(b)(i) (free and frank provision of advice) and s.30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Funding exists for local authorities to undertake feasibility studies into Citizens Basic Income and to develop suitable pilot models. Therefore information has been shared between the local authorities and Scottish Government for the purposes of obtaining advice and guidance in the early stages of development.

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 some public interest in release because there is significant interest in the feasibility of a Citizens Basic Income, and in the trialling and development of pilot models. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in allowing the local authorities to seek advice on existing work and thoughts relating to Basic Income.

An exemption under s.29(1)(a) (formulation or development of Scottish Government policy) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Information withheld relates to initial thinking on this project. Briefing papers from the local authorities will be published in approximately September 2019 and March 2020 outlining developed work. Ministers will make a decision at this stage, on receipt of completed work, whether to fund or support the proposed pilots.

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 some public interest in release because there is significant interest in the feasibility of a Citizens Basic Income, and in the trialling and development of pilot models. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in allowing local authorities to undertake meaningful feasibility studies and to develop weighted proposals without thinking being drawn into public debate at this early stage.

An exemption under section 33(2)(b) (Commercial interests and the economy) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Local Authorities have outlined the funding which is to be allocated to commission research. This information would potentially lead to bids being submitted to undertake research, totalling this amount, and could lead to failure to secure the best price for research.

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 some public interest in release as the public may wish to know the value of research. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring local authorities receive the best value for research commissioned through an unbiased procurement process. Any research procured or awards made will be published in due course through the normal channels.

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