- 3 May 2019
Date received: 4 Apr 2019
Date responded: 3 May 2019
All papers, minutes, emails or correspondence from any Cabinet Secretary to and from the First Minister on child poverty during the period 2016/17 and 2017/18.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide most of the information you have requested because exemptions under section 29(1)(b) and 38(1)(b) 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
An exemption applies
Section 29(1)(b) – Ministerial Correspondence
An exemption under section 29(1)(b) of FOISA applies to most of the information requested because it relates to communications between Scottish Ministers.
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 allowing Ministers a private space within which policy positions can be explored and refined, until the Government as a whole can adopt a policy that is sound and likely to be effective.
This private thinking space also allows for all options to be properly considered, so that good policy decisions can be taken. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between Ministers, which in turn will undermine the quality of the policy making process.
Section 38(1)(b) – Personal Data of a Third Party
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide a small amount of the information requested because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies. The exemption applies because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names/contact details of individuals involved, 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.
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