Bed bugs at schools - First Minister correspondence: FOI review

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

Information requested

For the contents of any emails or letters to Nicola Sturgeon (including emails to either the First Minister or SNP account) in 2019 on the topic of bed bugs at schools.


I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with modifications.

In response to your original request, exemptions were applied under section 17(1) (information not held), section 30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation), and section 38(1)(b) (personal information.

The exemptions and the public interest test have been reconsidered as outlined below.

Section 17(1)
Section 17(1) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have the information you requested. The Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have asked for because it was routinely destroyed, in accordance with our standard records management practice, before the date of your request. As described in the response to your original request, this is specifically in reference to the First Minister's private office only holding correspondence for 3 months. This means that if there was any correspondence received in the earlier part of 2019 that may have been relevant to your request and was not otherwise stored, it has been routinely destroyed.

Section 30(b)(ii)
An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) was applied to some information in response to the original request. In your request for review, you expressed a concern about the volume of information that had been redacted. The greatest proportion of this information was redacted under this exemption. Having reconsidered, this exemption has been lifted because disclosure would not be likely to inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This information has now therefore been released.

Section 38(1)(b)
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) was applied to some information in response to the original request because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and 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.

A small amount of information originally withheld under section 38(1)(b), where this identifies an organisation rather than an individual, has now been released.

So that all new information released can be clearly understood in context, it has been provided in the attached with the information originally released.

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/201900006881 - Information Released


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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