- 4 Oct 2019
Date received: 5 Sep 2019
Date responded: 3 Oct 2019
You asked for any correspondence to Roseanna Cunningham in 2019 regarding the Coastal Communities Fund.
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. The Scottish Government is unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
We are also unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation) applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
Please find attached a link to a recent Scottish Government announcement which outlines Scottish Ministers’ arrangements for Scottish Crown Estate net revenue allocations for 2019-2020, including allocations to coastal local authorities for funding coastal community benefit and the outcome of the review of the Coastal Communities Fund in Scotland.
Reasons for not providing information - Annex
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test
An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers and officials to have a private space within which to discuss and explore options before the Scottish Government reached a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank discussions on the Coastal Communities Fund in Scotland will substantially inhibit such discussions in the future, particularly because although an announcement on the future of the Coastal Communities Fund and new funding arrangements for coastal communities has been made, the discussions between Government, officials and relevant stakeholders which relate to those decisions had sensitive aspects to consider and reach a settled view on.
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 was a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which to explore and refine the Government’s policy position on the future of the Coastal Communities Fund in Scotland.
An exemption applies, not 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, i.e. names and contact details, 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