Scottish Executive correspondence to Malcolm Chisholm regarding contaminated blood: FOI release

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

Information requested


You asked for all correspondence from the Scottish Executive to Malcolm Chisholm regarding contaminated blood during 2003.



I have attached copies 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 sections s.36(1) (legal advice) and s.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information.  The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

Please note that there are also redactions of entire emails in the information you requested.  These emails have been redacted as they are out of scope of your information request.  However, in some cases they were provided in response to your previous FOI request on this subject.




An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test

An exemption under section s.36(1) of FOISA (confidentiality in legal proceedings) applies to a small amount of the information you have requested. 

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 as part of open and transparent government, and to inform public debate.  However, this is outweighed by the strong public interest in maintaining the right to confidentiality of communications between legal advisers and clients, to ensure that Ministers and officials are able to receive legal advice in confidence, like any other public or private organisation. 

An exemption applies

An exemption under section s.38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it is personal data of a third party, including names and contact details of non-senior officials and other stakeholders, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 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.


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-19-00277 Correspondence requested 1-8
foi-19-00277 Correspondence requested 9 & 10
foi-19-00277 Correspondence requested 11a & b, 12


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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