Fairness at Work meetings and complaints regarding Ministers: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/02351
Date received: 29 August 2018
Date responded: 20 September 2018

Information requested

1. Please confirm how many informal Fairness at Work meetings have been held with
(i) members of the First Minister’s private office staff
(ii) members of the Scottish Government communications team
(iii) special advisers

2. In each case, please confirm if the complaint being discussed regarded a minister and, if so, which minister.

3. Please also confirm in each case what the complaint was about and how the complaint was resolved.


By reference to section 18(1) of FOISA we cannot confirm or deny whether any information is held. We are applying section 18(1) in conjunction with section 35(1)(c) (information exempt if disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice substantially the administration of justice) and section 38(1)(b) (personal data).
The exemption in section 35(1)(c) is subject to the public interest test. We have viewed the public interest test to be the balance between the need to be open and transparent in our decision making and ensuring that we do not prejudice substantially the administration of justice. In that regard we cannot confirm or deny if any such information exists and we have concluded that the balance favours adopting that approach.

The exemption in section 38(1)(b) is not subject to the public interest test but we have applied the public interest as required by section 18 and have concluded that to reveal whether the information exists or not would be contrary to the public interest.

For information, I have attached at Annex A the response to a recent Parliamentary Question which you may find helpful.

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 Responses

Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference 

Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: CEU
Phone: 0300 244 4000 

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 

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