- 4 Dec 2019
Date received: 29 Oct 2019
Date responded: 27 Nov 2019
You asked for all meetings and correspondence (emails, typed or handwritten notes, letters, phone calls, minutes of meetings, documents or otherwise) in 2019 involving John Swinney, or another Cabinet Secretary, and any of the following: the Chief Executive of Disclosure Scotland, Transformation Director of Disclosure Scotland, or other civil servants involved in the Disclosure Scotland Transformation project.
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested in Annex B.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under the following sections of FOISA apply to that information:
- section 38(1)(b) (personal information)
- section 36(1) (confidentiality)
The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained in Annex A.
Annex A - Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies
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, i.e the names and contact details of individual members of staff, 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 applies, subject to the public interest test
An exemption under section 36(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Disclosure of this information would constitute an actionable breach of confidence. 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 some public interest
in release as part of an open and transparent government and to inform public debate. However, this is outweighed by the strong public interest in maintaining 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