Publication - FOI/EIR release

Ministerial diary: Jeane Freeman's trip to Ireland: FOI release

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

Published:
24 Jul 2018
Ministerial diary: Jeane Freeman's trip to Ireland: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01736
Date received: 21 June 2018
Date responded: 19 July 2018

Information requested

The ministerial diary for Jeane Freeman for when she was in Ireland from 28 January to 29 January 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 (including overseas 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. Ministerial costs have recently been updated. They can be found in the second tab of each monthly spread sheet:

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

Job Title Total Cost for Accompanying Officials
Private Secretary £451.83
Chief Executive, Social Security Agency Implementation £204.84

I enclose a copy of information (via email) held by the Scottish Government relating to your request. 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 an exemption(s) under section(s) s.30(b)(i) Free and frank provision of advice, s.38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) and s.39(1) (Health and safety) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

An exemption applies.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it (names/personal details) would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. 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.

Exemptions under sections 30(b)(i) and 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank advice and exchange of views) apply to some of the information requested. These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. The exemptions recognise the need for Ministers to have a private space within which to seek advice and views from officials before reaching the settled public position. Disclosing the content of free and frank advice will substantially inhibit such briefing in the future. These exemptions are 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 exemptions. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemptions. 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 officials can provide free and frank advice and views to Ministers. Premature disclosure of this type of information could lead to a reduction in the comprehensiveness and frankness of such advice and views in the future, which would not be in the public interest.

An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.

An exemption under section 39(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested in relation to Ministerial accommodation and security. This exemption applies because we consider that release would be likely to endanger the safety of Scottish Government Ministers. This exemption is also 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. While we recognise that there is some public interest in release of this information in order to promote openness, there is a much greater public interest in avoiding significant risks to the safety of Ministers.

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