- 16 Apr 2019
Date received: 12 Mar 2019
Date responded: 16 Apr 2019
Under FOISA, please provide the Social Security Scotland Analytical Paper on BSG Forecasting brought to 05/03/2019 meeting of the Executive Advisory Body.
1. I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.
2. 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.29(1)(a) (policy formulation) and s.27(1) (Information intended for future publication) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why the exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test
Section 27(1) of FOISA applies because we intend to publish information within 12 weeks of the date of the request. We consider that it is reasonable to withhold the information until that date, rather than release this routinely published information before the planned publication date.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. We recognise that there is some public interest in the information and this will be met by our planned publication. In the meantime, there is a greater public interest in taking the time necessary to ensure the information has been properly collated and checked before it is published as planned. The information will be published on 29 April 2019 once the appropriate quality assurance has been undertaken allowing the Official Statistics objective of orderly release and equal accessibility of statistics as outlined in the Official Statistics Code of Practice.
An exemption under section s.29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some of the information requested because it relates to the estimated launch dates of Wave 1 benefits. These are new benefits and at the time of writing the dates provided were based on latest available information with work still in development.
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 there is a high degree of interest in new Scottish Social Security benefits. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in withholding this information as it was intended to illustrate the scale of eligibility and resourcing. As the benefits are still in development the release of this information may cause undue confusion or create a misleading picture. The information relating to the dates was provided for illustrative purposes only and have no bearing on the substance of the report.
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 Andrews House