Publication - FOI/EIR release

Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act - Social Work 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 - Social Work Scotland correspondence: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900008738
Date received: 4 Dec 2019
Date responded: 6 Jan 2020
Information requested

You asked for "copies of correspondence between the Scottish Government and Social Work 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) Bill/Act, which involve or mention Social Work 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. These are:

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 Social Work Scotland on 7 October 2019 at 15:42
Document 3: extract of email from Scottish Government official to another Scottish Government official on 4 November 2019 at 13:50
Document 4: extract of email from Scottish Government official to Police Scotland on 13 November 2019 at 11:39
Document 5: extract of email from Scottish Government official to another Scottish Government official on 26 November 2019 at 15:51
Document 6: minutes of Implementation Group meeting held on 23 September 2019 (to be published on the Scottish Government website shortly). (These minutes are attached separately.)

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 McElvie, Minister for Older People and Equalities). Please note in particular paragraphs 9 to 11.

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 sections 27(1) (information intended for future publication), 30(b)(i) (free and frank provision of advice) and 30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these 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 true 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 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 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.

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FOI/201900008738 - Annex A

1 page PDF
86.6 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