- 31 Oct 2018
Date received: 1 October 2018
Date responded: 29 October 2018
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.
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.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House