Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence with Independent Antislavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland: FOI release

Published: 23 Jul 2018

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

Published:
23 Jul 2018
Correspondence with Independent Antislavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01775
Date received: 22 June 2018
Date responded: 19 July 2018

Information requested

(a) All communications between the Scottish Government and the Office of the Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland from 12/09/2017 to today's date (22 June 2018).

(b) Agendas and minutes of any meetings between the Scottish Government and the Office of the Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland from 12/09/2017 to today's date (22 June 2018).

Response

I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested. Some of the information you have requested is already available can be found as per the table attached.

Reasons for not providing information

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it 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 under section s.35(1)(b) [Substantial prejudice to the apprehension or prosecution of offenders] of FOISA applies to a small portion of the information you have requested. The relevant information relates to timing and handling of two court prosecutions, shared with key partners for the purposes of communications planning.

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 disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in avoiding prejudice to ongoing criminal proceedings.

An exemption under section s.30(b)(i) [Free and frank provision of advice] of FOISA applies to a small portion of the information you have requested. The relevant information relates to timing and handling of a court prosecution, shared with key partners for the purposes of communications planning.

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 disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in allowing a private space within which officials can provide full and frank advice to other officials, as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government's position on public messaging in the context of ongoing criminal proceedings.This private thinking space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, based on the best available advice, so that good decisions can be taken. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between officials, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the public interest.

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