Publication - FOI/EIR release

PE01493: A Sunshine Act for Scotland information: FOI release

Published: 1 Apr 2019

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

Published:
1 Apr 2019
PE01493: A Sunshine Act for Scotland information: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00545
Date received: 25 Feb 2019
Date responded: 25 Mar 2019
Information requested

ALL information relating in any way to considerations of any issue relating to PE1493 A Sunshine Act for Scotland. The period requested is from 22 March 2016 to the present day. I request that this includes all "scoping of a range of options" and all the "discussions" that "encompassed NHS stakeholders" over this period, including all e-mails, memorandum, notes, letters, minutes or any form of physical recording. All stakeholders should be identified though no personal details are required.

 

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. You are already in receipt of some of the information you have requested and, 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 because exemptions under sections 38(1)(b), 30(b)(i) and 30(b)(ii) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

Exemptions apply

Exemptions under section 38(1 )(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. These exemptions apply to personal data.

These exemptions are 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 exemptions.

Exemptions under section 25(1) of FOISA apply to some of the information you have requested that you are already in receipt of. We do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

These exemptions are 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 exemptions.

Exemptions under sections 30(b )(i) and 30(b )(ii) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views) apply to some of the information requested. These exemptions recognise the need for officials to have a private space within which to discuss issues and options with Ministers, colleagues and stakeholders before the Scottish Government reaches a settled view. Disclosing the content of free and frank discussions, such as those with Health Improvement Scotland, could substantially inhibit any such future work on the
"sunshine act" petition.

These exemptions are 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 exemptions. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemptions. 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 and stakeholders can provide free and frank advice and exchanges of views on work related to the "sunshine act" petition.

About FOI

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.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG