- 27 Mar 2019
Date received: 12 Mar 2019
Date responded: 26 Mar 2019
Under FOISA, please provide the Child Poverty Income Supplement paper provided to the Social Security Scotland Executive Advisory Body discussed on the meeting of 23 January 2019
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 29(1)(a) (policy formulation) and 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
An exemption applies
Exemptions under sections s.29(1)(a) (policy formulation) and s.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, eg names/contact details of individuals 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.
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test
An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some of the information requested because it relates to the formulation and development of policy and delivery options for the Scottish Government’s income supplement.
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, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options, and the process for taking these forward, and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on the development of policy and delivery options for the income supplement, will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government’s view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.
You may wish to know that Ministers have given a commitment to update the Scottish Parliament on the development of the income supplement as part of the annual report on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery plan. This will be provided ahead of the Summer recess, and will include publication of an appraisal of the options for the policy and delivery of the income supplement.
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