Publication - FOI/EIR release

Civil servant's briefings or analysis on the UK agriculture bill: FOI release

Published: 19 Nov 2018

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

Published:
19 Nov 2018
Civil servant's briefings or analysis on the UK agriculture bill: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/03005  
Date received: 19 October 2018  
Date responded: 16 November 2018
 
Information requested
 
Details of any civil servant briefings or analysis regarding the UK Agriculture Bill.
 
Response
 

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

Some of the information you have requested is available via the following links;

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/110019.aspx

https://www.gov.scot/publications/proposed-amendments-to-the-uk-agriculture-bill/

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. 

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 sections s.28(1) (relations with UK), s.29(1)(a) (policy formulation), s.29(1)(b) (ministerial communications), s.30(b)(i) and (ii) (free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views), s.36(1) (legal advice) and s.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information.  The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained below.

Our aim is to provide information whenever possible. However, in this instance, some of the information you have requested is not held by the Scottish Government for the purposes of FOISA because we received it in confidence from the UK Government. This means that, under the terms of section 3(2)(a)(ii) of FOISA,  we are unable to disclose it in response to your request. However, you may wish to submit a new request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at Seacole Building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF who should be able to help you further.

Reasons for not providing information
 

An exemption applies.

An exemption under section s.38(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption covers the release of personal data relating to third parties and relates to names and contact details, which if released could contravene data protection principles in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and/or the Data Protection Act 2018 (the DPA 2018). 

This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.

An exemption under section S.28(1) of FOISA (Relations within the UK) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exempts from disclosure, information received from other UK administrations where disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially relations between administrations in the UK.   

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 some public interest in release because of the way different administrations have addressed issues relating to the UK Agriculture Bill. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in maintaining the trust and confidence of other UK administrations in sharing information with Scottish Government in future.

An exemption under section S.29(1)(a) & (b) of FOISA (Formulation of Scottish Administration Policy), applies to some of the information you have requested. This exempts information from disclosure relating to the formulation or development of government policy and Ministerial communications.

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 some public interest in release because of differences between the Scottish and UK Governments regarding the UK Agriculture Bill. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring Ministers can communicate with each other and with officials in formulating and developing policy.

An exemption under section S.30(b)(i) & (ii) of FOISA (Free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views), applies to some of the information you have requested. This exempts information from disclosure relating to the prejudice of effective conduct of public affairs.

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 some public interest in release because of differences between the Scottish and UK Governments regarding the UK Agriculture Bill. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring Scottish Ministers and officials can exchange views with each other in a free and frank manner when considering their position.

An exemption under section S.36(1) of FOISA (Confidentiality), applies to some of the information you have requested. This exempts information from disclosure relating to confidentiality including legal professional privilege.

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 some public interest in release because of differences between the Scottish and UK Governments regarding the UK Agriculture Bill. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring Scottish Ministers can seek and receive confidential legal advice. 

About FOI

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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