- 24 Aug 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/02130
Date received: 2 August 2018
Date responded: 21 August 2018
“Please provide copies of the correspondence about Muftah Salem Eljamel, the former Neurosurgeon who worked for NHS Tayside, which were received by the Scottish Government or its ministers on August 18, 2008, April 8, 2012 and December 19 2013.”
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested as an annex to this letter. However, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide all of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections s.38(1)(b) and s.30(b)(ii) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why the exemptions apply are explained below.
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. This exemption applies to personal data concerning a third party. As I am sure you will understand, amongst the information you have requested is a considerable amount of personal data concerning Professor Eljamel, as well as other members of the public who have corresponded with the Scottish Government.
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
In addition to the above, an exemption under section s.30(b)(ii) of FOISA applies to a small amount of the information you have requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice or exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.
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 release because of the concerns previously expressed in public in relation to Professor Eljamel. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in allowing the Scottish Government a private space within which to consider issues prior to coming to a settled public view.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at https://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House