- 5 Sep 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/02217
Date received: 13 August 2018
Date responded: 5 September 2018
Following our response to Foi/18/01357 you asked:
- I was interested by the Scottish Government report on underreporting and the barriers to reporting hate crime. Would we be able to see a copy of this? Is a copy of the 2018 work plan for the group also available?
1. The information you have requested is contained in the following annexes:
- Annex A – Under Reporting paper
- Annex B – Work Plan
2. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information contained in the work plan you have requested because an exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA applies to that information. The reason why that exemption applies is explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies.
An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some of the information requested. Disclosing this information would substantially prejudice our ability to agree an action plan in this area because private space is needed in order to agree a way forward. This would constitute substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs in terms of the exemption.
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 agree a working action plan. This private space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, so that good decisions can be taken based on fully informed advice and evidence. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between the Scottish Government and its stakeholders, 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 https://www.gov.scot/foi-responses