- 31 Oct 2018
Date received: 27 September 2018
Date responded: 29 October 2018
Exemptions apply under sections 30(b(i)) (free and frank provision of advice) and 30(b(ii)) (free and frank exchange of views) to some of the information requested.
These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice and free and frank exchange of views. These exemptions recognise the need for officials to have a private space within which to provide advice to, and exchange views with, Ministers and other officials before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of material relating to the consideration of a range of contingency options relating to FMEL will substantially inhibit the provision of such advice in the future, particularly because these discussions are still ongoing and these discussions relate to sensitive commercial and contractual issues.
An exemption under section 33 (1(b)) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it relates to commercial information that may prejudice the companies involved.
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.
Exemptions also apply under section 36(1) of FOISA as the documents contain legal advice.
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, this information is legally privileged.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses athttp://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House