Meetings to discuss Prison Officer Professionalization Programme: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/02285
Date received: 27 August 2018  
Date responded: 24 September 2018
Information requested
  • a copy of the minutes of the Remuneration Group meeting on 17th August 2018
  • any (other) meetings to discuss the Prison Officer Professionalisation Programme, and
  • any discussions about extra funding that has been asked for.

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 an exemption under section s.30(c) (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.

POPP has been discussed at two Remuneration Group meetings:

Extract of Minutes of Meeting 13th July 2018: attached

Extract of Minutes of Meeting 17th August 2018: attached

Reasons for not providing information 

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 conduct meaningful assessments of proposals affecting the remuneration of staff within public bodies because this needs to be carried out in a private space where views can be exchanged fully and frankly, particularly while these discussions are still ongoing and decisions have not been taken. 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. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the process of considering remuneration proposals and ensuring that the Scottish Government is able conduct this aspect of its business effectively.  Disclosing the information about these meetings is likely to undermine their trust in the Scottish Government and will substantially inhibit communications on this type of issue in the future.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at
FOI-18-02285 - RG minutes extract SPS - 13 July 2018
FOI-18-02285 - RG minutes extract SPS - 17 August 2018


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

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