- 24 Jun 2019
Date received: 31 May 2019
Date responded: 18 Jun 2019
Written correspondence between the Minister and those Civil Servants as a formal record of the advice given and the decision taken
Please note that there were no meetings held to discuss this request.
The advice and recommendation to the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning regarding the screening request is noted at the attached Annex A. The response from the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning is noted at the attached Annex B.
An exception applies
Exceptions under regulations of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested:
Regulation 11(2) Applies – Personal data belonging to a third Party.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) came into effect in May 2018, making many changes to data protection laws in the UK. Regulation 11 of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs) sets outs when personal data can and cannot be disclosed under the EIRs.
Personal data must not be disclosed if it is:
• the personal data of the person requesting the information (regulation 11(1)
• the personal data of a third party – (regulation 11(2)
The exceptions in regulation 11 are generally absolute, which means that they are not subject to the public interest test. However, in two specific situations, the exception in regulation 11(2) is subject to the public interest test. This means that, even if the exception applies, the personal data must be disclosed unless, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in making the personal data available is outweighed by the public interest in not making it available.
Reg 10(4)(d) - Material in the course of completion, unfinished documents, or incomplete data
This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. Reg 10(4)(d) applies to information within the document which cannot be made public as doing so would cause prejudice to another department, person, or decision making process as the information is still in being worked on or is under active consideration.
Reg 10(5)(d) Confidentiality of proceedings provided for by law (includes legal advice)
Again the public interest test has been applied to this exemption. The information is not available as part of this request as it contains legal information which is not to be shared with the public. The Scottish Government maintain the right to confidentiality of communications between legal advisers and clients, to ensure that Ministers and officials are able to receive legal advice in confidence, like any other public or private organisation.
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