- 13 Nov 2018
Date received: 20 September 2018
Date responded: 9 November 2018
Details of any minutes or correspondence (emails, typed or handwritten notes, letters, phone calls, documents or otherwise) regarding Nicola Sturgeon's meeting with Jamie Oliver on 14 May.
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under Section 30(b)(i) – free and frank provision of advice, and Section 30(b)(ii) – free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.
An exemption under Section 30(b)(i) – free and frank provision of advice, and Section 30(b)(ii) – free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.
These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. These exemptions recognise the need for officials to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice to, and discussions with, Ministers and other officials before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank advice and discussion on the Government’s obesity policy will substantially inhibit the provision of such advice in the future.
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 a private space within which officials can provide full and frank advice to Ministers, as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government’s position on obesity policy. This private thinking space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, based on the best available advice, so that good decisions can be taken. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between Ministers and officials, which in turn will undermine the quality of the policy 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 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