Best Start Grant (BSG) guidance including Best Start Foods: FOI release

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

Information requested

In June, you published internal guidance used by Social Security Scotland staff to process Best Start grant (BSG) applications in response to an FOI request: Since that guidance was published, Best Start foods have been introduced, which share a number of processes with BSG. Please can you provide copies of the updated guidance as in force at today’s date, including any additional information that relates to Best Start foods.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. Previously published Best Start Grant material has been updated to incorporate Best Start Foods, and is available from If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
Additional Information is also attached.
The following exemptions have also been applied to the supplied information.
 S.38(1) 9(b) of FOISA (Personal Information)
 S.35(1) (A) of FOISA (Prevention and detection of crime)
The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.


Exemptions applied, subject to the public interest test
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, ie 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 under section S.25(1) of FOISA has been applied, as some of the requested information is available on publicly available websites. Section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 exempts information from disclosure where the requester can reasonably obtain the information without making a request for it. This exemption is being applied as previously published guidance on Best Start Grant has been updated to include Best Start Foods. Documents not included with this response but are within the scope of the request are available on public websites.
An exemption under section S.35(1)(a) of FOISA (prevention and detection of crime) has been applied, as some of the requested information contains internal document file-paths. To reduce the opportunity of crime, specifically cyber attacks on systems, this information will not be disclosed.
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. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the IT systems used by the Scottish Government to deliver services to the public.

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-19-02060 Transitional Customer
FOI-19-02060 SPM trigger timers
FOI-19-02060 Overview of Best Start Foods
FOI-19-02060 Notification of Best Start Foods
FOI-19-02060 Internal Review
FOI-19-02060 BSF Payment cycles
FOI-19-02060 Best Start Foods user guidance
FOI-19-02060 Best Start Foods eligibility


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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