FOI exemptions subjected to the public interest test: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/02010
Date received: 26 July 2018 
Date responded: 21 August 2018
Information requested

1) The number of times the Scottish Government has applied an exemption, which is subject to the public interest test, over the last 12 months in response to an FOI request. If multiple public interest test exemptions were applied to one FOI request, please count these exemptions separately. i.e if two public interest test exemptions are applied to one FOI, count this as two exemptions.

2) The number of times, after applying the public interest test, that the government decided it favoured full disclosure of the information, how many times it decided it favoured partial disclosure and how many times it decided the public interest test did not favour disclosure.


1) I enclose in the Annex the information you requested, as recorded by FOI case-handlers on our case management system. It may assist to explain that our case management system records information about exemptions applied to requests, and not those initially considered by case-handlers and then not applied to the information held, after weighing up the public interest test.

2) You have asked for information on the number of times, after applying the public interest test, that the government decided on full disclosure, partial disclosure or non-disclosure of the information. During the period of time requested the Scottish Government responded to 3353 FOI requests. 1457 of those cases were subject to partial release or refusal. 709 of those cases were subject to exemptions where the public interest test applied, of those 494 requests resulted in partial release and only 133 requests were refused. The remaining 82 requests were cases where information was not held or the request was invalid.

In addition in the same 12 month period, in response to 1235 requests information was released in full however our system does not record if the public interest has been considered in such cases because there is no requirement under FOISA for our case management system to record information of exemptions considered but not applied.

Therefore, this is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.

Please note that I have interpreted the second part of your request as for information held within the same timeframe as the first part of your request – that is, the 12 months before the date of your request.

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FOI-18-02010 - related documents


Please quote the FOI reference 
Central Enquiry Unit 
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Phone: 0300 244 4000 
The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
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