Publication - FOI/EIR release

Letter to councils referring to Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA): FOI review

Published: 31 Oct 2018

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

Published:
31 Oct 2018
Letter to councils referring to Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA): FOI review
FOI reference: FOI/18/02325 Review  
Date received: 1 October 2018  
Date responded: 29 October 2018
 
Information requested 
 
Graeme Logan sent a letter to councils which, amongst other things, referenced apparent advice regarding the SNSA ( “Solar have advised us that parents don’t have the option to opt out of the assessments, explaining that all children ... will participate.”)

I would like to request that the government release all material held in relation to this letter, including - but not limited to - drafts, communications regarding the letter, responses etc.
 
Response
 
Further to my email of 1 October, I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for all material held in relation to Graeme Logan’s ‘letter to councils which, amongst other things referenced apparent advice regarding the SNSA ( “Solar have advised us that parents don’t have the option to opt out of the assessments, explaining that all children ... will participate.” )’, including – but not limited to – drafts, communications regarding the letter, responses etc.

You requested a review of the decision to withhold some information under section 36(1) of FOISA. Having considered your request, I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed with modifications.
The majority of the information that was withheld under section 36(1) was done so appropriately. The information concerned relates specifically to communications with a professional legal advisor and their interaction with a client. As such, disclosure of much of the content would represent a clear breach of professional privilege and I therefore consider the use of section 36(1) to have been appropriate. While SOLAR may have made its position clear, we are in fact applying the exemption to information contained in communications with professional legal advisors at Glasgow City Council, not SOLAR.

There is, however, some content in emails of 18 May and 6 June that should not have been withheld under section 36(1). This is now incuded in the annex to this letter.

As you are aware, the application of an exemption under section 36(1) of FOISA is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, as part of my review I have also reconsidered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. I have concluded that the public interest in disclosure is outweighed by the strong public interest in maintaining the right to confidentiality of communications between legal advisers and clients.
 
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foi-18-02325-review Annex A

1 page PDF
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

 
The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3DG