Publication - FOI/EIR release

Social Security Scotland - service design of Healthcare Professional Assessment Function: FOI release

Published: 19 Aug 2019

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

Published:
19 Aug 2019
Social Security Scotland - service design of Healthcare Professional Assessment Function: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/01697
Date received: 12 Jul 2019
Date responded: 12 Aug 2019
Information requested

Under FOISA please provide the agreed contract for the Service Design of the Social Security Scotland Desk Based and Face to Face Healthcare Professional Assessment Function.

Response

The information you have requested is attached separately in this email, however, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, on this occasion we are unable to provide some of the information you requested as exemptions under the following sections of FOISA apply to that information:

  • s.29(1)(a) (formulation or development of Scottish Government policy)
  • s.33(1)(b) (Commercial interests)
  • s.38(1)(b) (Personal data relating to third party)

The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

Reasons for not providing information - Annex
Exemption apply. subject to the public interest test

29(1 )(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy)
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 of the Scottish Government's policy on the assessments process and the delivery model. This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Hence, 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 due to interest in exploring the proposed delivery models for assessment. 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 to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on utilising specific delivery models 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.

Section 33(1)(b)- commercial interests
An exemption under section 33(1 )(b) of FOISA ( commercial interests) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Deloitte LLP. Disclosing this information would be likely to give Deloittes's competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice Deloitte's ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business. 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 and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which tender for, or enter into, Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

Section 38(1)(b) -personal data of a third party
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; contact details, CV's 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.

About FOI
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.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG