Publication - FOI/EIR release

Ministerial diary: Maree Todd's trip to Ireland 9/March: FOI release

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

Published:
24 Jul 2018
Ministerial diary: Maree Todd's trip to Ireland 9/March: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01731
Date received: 21 June 2018
Date responded: 19 July 2018

Information requested

The ministerial diary for Maree Todd for when she was in Ireland from 9 March including engagements and who she met with; I would also like to ask for her personal costs associated with the visit and for any staff who accompanied her; for correspondence on the trip and for the job titles of the staff that accompanied her.

Response

Information about Ministerial engagements are published on the Scottish Government website. They can be found in first tab of each monthly spread sheet:

https://beta.gov.scot/publications/ministerial-engagements-travel-and-gifts-march-2018/

Ministerial overseas visits are also published on the Scottish Government website. Details include all Ministerial costs associated with the visit. They can be found in the second tab of each monthly spread sheet.

Costs

Job Title Total Cost
Minister for Children and Young People £0
Team leader, Looked After Children Unit £369.88
Deputy Head of the Scottish Government Innovation and Investment Hub £0

Taxi Travel costs - £114.

I enclose copies of some of the correspondence information you requested. While our aim is to provide information wherever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections 30(b)(i) (substantial inhibition of free and frank provision of advice) and 32(1)(b) (confidential information obtained from any other State or international organisation) of FOISA. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.

An exemption under sections 30(b)(i) (substantial inhibition of free and frank provision of advice)and 32(1)(b) (confidential information obtained from any other State or international organisation)of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Disclosing the content of free and frank exchanges and briefing material on engagement with another UK administration and foreign government substantially inhibit such briefing in the future.

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 a private space within which government Ministers can exchange information and officials can provide full and frank advice to Ministers, as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government's position on Brexit and in strengthening Scotland's bilateral relations with other UK administrations and other governments. This private space is essential to enable officials to brief openly and honestly, based on the best available advice, so that relationships can be maintained. Disclosure of such information, is likely to undermine the quality of briefing and advice, which would not be in the public interest.

About FOI

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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