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Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) further guidance: FOI release

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

18 Aug 2020
Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) further guidance: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000044349
Date received: 8 Jun 2020
Date responded: 24 Jul 2020
Information requested

All records of any discussions about the guidance that should be given when applying the definition of "Woman" in Section 2.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide most of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections 38(1)(b) and 36(1) of FOISA applies.

Information is exempted under 38(1)(b) because this is personal information, relating to employees of the Scottish Government.

The exemption under section 36(1) of FOISA applies as information may be withheld if it is information in respect of which a claim to confidentiality of communications could be maintained in legal proceedings for example, if information is “legal privileged”.

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 concerns raised that the definition of “woman” would disadvantage women and undermine their rights. However, this is outweighed by the 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.

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The Scottish Government
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