Publication - FOI/EIR release

Disability and Carers Expert Advisory Group correspondence: FOI release

Published: 18 Feb 2020

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

Published:
18 Feb 2020
Disability and Carers Expert Advisory Group correspondence: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/20/00092
Date received: 24 Jan 2020
Date responded: 14 Feb 2020
Information requested

The reports and correspondence between the Disability and Carers Benefits Expert Advisory Group and the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People since June 2019.

Response

Please find attached the documentation that you requested. 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 section s.38(1)(b) (personal information), s.29(1)(a) (formulation of policy), s.30(b) (free and frank discussion and advice) and s.30(c) (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply is explained in the Annex to this letter.
ANNEX
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
An exemption applies


An exemption under section s.38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Where third party information such as email addresses or names of some individuals are included in the text they have been redacted.
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.

An exemption under section s.29(1)(a) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Where information about policy development is included it has been redacted.
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.

An exemption under section 30(b) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views and provision of advice) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views. This recognises the need for officials to have a private space in which to conduct frank discussion.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. 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 open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in allowing a private space within which officials can have full and frank discussions. Premature disclosure of the content of such discussion on the delivery of social security benefits will substantially inhibit the free and frank discussion in the future, particularly as these discussions related to a sensitive issue.

An exemption under section s.30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) also applies to some of the information requested. Disclosing this information would substantially prejudice our ability to conduct discussions on the delivery of social security benefits.
This exemption is also subject to the ‘public interest test’. Again, 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 open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in allowing a private space within which officials can have frank discussion for the effective conduct of public affairs.

About FOI

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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