- 10 Aug 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/01911
Date received: 12 July 2018
Date responded: 8 August 2018
Membership of the Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group
Terms of Reference of the Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group
Minutes of the meetings of the Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group
1. The information you have requested is contained in the following annexes:
Annex A – Terms of Reference and Membership of the Action Group
Annex B – Minutes of the Action Group
2. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we don't have the information are explained in Annex C.
3. 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(s) s38(1)b and section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA applies to that information. The reason why that exemption(s) applies are explained in Annex C.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies.
An exemption(s) under section(s) s.38(1)b of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. The Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have asked for because there is no requirement to disclose the individual names of the Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group. We have provided the names of the organisations they represent.
An exemption applies.
An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. The minutes of the most recent meeting held on 27 June have not yet been agreed by the Action Group, therefore the Scottish Government is unable to provide this information. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for officials to have a private space within which to discuss issues and options before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of these discussions will substantially inhibit such discussions in the future, because there will be a reluctance to provide views fully and frankly if those views are likely to be made public, particularly while these discussions are still ongoing and decisions have not been taken.
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 Ministers and officials a private space within which to communicate Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the public interest
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
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House