Publication - FOI/EIR release

Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act - Police Scotland correspondence: FOI release

Published: 7 Jan 2020

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

Published:
7 Jan 2020
Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act - Police Scotland correspondence: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900008737
Date received: 4 Dec 2019
Date responded: 6 Jan 2020
Information requested

You asked for "copies of correspondence between the Scottish Government and Police Scotland concerning the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill, between 01 October 2019 and 04 December 2019, including letters, and emails" and "copies of internal documents relating to the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill/Act, which involve or mention Police Scotland, from the same period, including emails, minutes from meetings, notes and memos".

Response

I enclose at Annex A some of the information you requested, as follows:

Document 1: extract from email from Scottish Government official to another Scottish Government official on 4 October 2019 at 13:11
Document 2: extract from email from Scottish Government official to Police Scotland on 7 October 2019 at 15:42
Document 3: extract from email from Police Scotland to Scottish Government official on 6 November 2019 at 16:14
Document 4: extract from email from Police Scotland to Scottish Government official on 13 November 2019 at 10:26
Document 5: extract from email from Scottish Government official to Police Scotland on 13 November 2019 at 11:39
Document 6: extract from email from Police Scotland to Scottish Government official on 13 November 2019 at 15:15
Document 7: extract from email from Scottish Government official to Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service on 14 November 2019 at 10:09
Document 8: extract from email from Scottish Government official to second Scottish Government official on 14 November 2019 at 18:14
Document 9: extract from email from Scottish Government official to second Scottish Government official on 14 November 2019 at 18:45
Document 10: extract from email from Scottish Government official to second Scottish Government official on 18 November 2019 at 09:44
Document 11: extract from email from Scottish Government official to second Scottish Government official on 20 November 2019 at 11:35
Document 12: extract from email from Scottish Government official to second Scottish Government official on 26 November 2019 at 15:51
Document 13: extract from email from Scottish Government official to Police Scotland on 28 November at 10:33
Document 14: extract from email from Scottish Government official to another Scottish Government official on 2 December 2019 at 11:06
Document 15: extract from email from Scottish Government official to another Scottish Government official on 2 December 2019 at 11:06
Document 16: extract from email from Police Scotland to Scottish Government official on 28 November 2019 at 11:09
Document 17: minutes of Implementation Group meeting on 23 September 2019. These will be published on the Scottish Government website shortly and are attached as a separate document.

Some of the information you have requested is available online as part of the Official Report of the Stage 3 debate on the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019 at
http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12293&i=111167. In particular, I would draw your attention to the comments by Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People at column 1715.

Other information you have requested is also available online at https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Equal_Opps/Letter_to_SG_2020-21_Draft_Budget.pdf (letter from Ruth Maguire, Convener of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee to Christina McKelvie, Minister for Older People and Equalities). Please note in particular paragraphs 9 to 11.

Further information you have requested is similarly available online at https://www.bereasonablescotland.org/press-releases/smacking-ban-msps-urged-to-think-againamid-fears-of-criminalising-parents-and-rise-in-social-work-costs/ (Stage 3 briefing on the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019 by Be Reasonable dated 2 October 2019).

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some the information you have requested because exemption under sections 27(1) (information intended for future publication), 30(b)(i) free and frank provision of advice), 30(b)(ii) free and frank exchange of views) and 38(1)(b) (third party personal data) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained below.

Exemption under s27(1)
The exemption under section 27(1) applies where there is a plan by a public authority to publish the information within the next 12 weeks. This is the case in relation to some of the information you have requested. 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 due to the public interest in the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that information which is disclosed is full and accurate.

Exemption under s30(b)(i)
This applies where disclosure of information would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm to the free and frank provision of advice. This is the case in relation to some of the information you have requested. 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 due to the nature of the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring advice can be offered freely and frankly, including that which relates to legislation and involvement with or discussion of external stakeholders.

Exemption under s30(b)(ii)
This applies where disclosure of information would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm to, the free and frank exchange of views. This applies to some of the information you have requested. 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 because of the debate on the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that free and frank advice can be exchanged as part of the development of approaches to legislation and its implementation.

Exemption under s38(1)(b)
In this instance we are also unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption(s) under section s.38(1) (b) (third party personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. This is because some of the information you have asked for is the personal data of third parties and disclosing it (such as names or personal details) would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. 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.

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FOI/201900008737 - Annex A

4 page PDF
100.4 kB

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