Scottish Government and the American Scottish Foundation correspondence: FOI release

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

Information requested

All correspondence between the Scottish Government and the American Scottish Foundation between Jan 1 2018 to 18 March 2019.


A total of 35 chains of e-mail exchanges were found between 1 January and 18 March 2019. Copies of these email exchanges are attached in Annexes A-II. 

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 38(1)(b) (personal information) and 30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views) of FOISA apply to some of that information.  

An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) exempts some information from disclosure where disclosure would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm to the free and frank provision of advice.

This exemption is subject to the “public interest test.”  Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered whether or not 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 allowing officials a private space within which to communicate as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government’s position, until the Government as a whole can adopt a decision that is sound and likely to be effective.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998.  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-19-00795 Annexes A-II


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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