- 16 Feb 2021
Date received: 11 Jun 2020
Date responded: 22 Oct 2020
All possible documentation between November 2018 and March 2020 relating to the successful transfers of funding, financial reporting and CEO/Board restructuring & ownership from the company previously known as Fearless Femme CIC, which then became Fearlessly CIC, and is now known as The Ampersand Project, situated on Constitution Street in Leith, Edinburgh.
Further to our correspondence of 9th July 2020 and 14th September 2020, I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):
Having completed my review, I have concluded that a different decision should be substituted.
Two projects that were supported from the Social Innovation Fund are in scope of your information request, as follows:
- Fearless Femme C.I.C “The Mental Health Challenges of Young Women” – awarded £203,775 (2018)
- Fearlessly C.I.C. “The Mental Health Challenges of Young Adults” – awarded £149,960 (2019)
When conducting this review, and taking into account the additional background information you provided in your letter dated 11th June, further searches have been undertaken.
I have identified that grant claim documentation and supporting progress and final reports received from the two abovementioned projects (in the timeframe you set out) fall within the scope of your information request. A set of email correspondence dating from 24th November 2019 to 21st January 2020, regarding the final grant claim that was due to be submitted by Fearlessly C.I.C., is also identified as being in scope of the request. All of these documents are provided alongside this letter and I apologise that they were not provided before.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the requested information because exemptions under section 38(1)(a) and section 38(1)(b) of FOISA apply, as it includes personal data of the person requesting the information as well as personal data of a third party. In both instances this means names of individuals as well as individual payroll information, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulations and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. 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. Where names of individuals have been included within the supplied documentation, it is because these are already known to be in the public domain, in context of the two abovementioned projects that are in the scope of the information request.
In your request for review dated 11 June 2020, you elaborated that you “would very much like to see evidence that the Scottish Government have been fully informed of all whistleblower issues raised within Fearlessly C.I.C. and that public funding and reporting of spending practice therein is subject to the appropriate level of scrutiny and guidance”. We can confirm that all of the information we hold, which falls within scope of your request, has now been provided to you. However, you may find it helpful to note that, while it does not fall within scope of your request, we were made aware (by a complainant) of a complaint that they raised with Fearlessly C.I.C. Accordingly, we investigated with the organisation and then responded to the complainant, and the matter was closed at the time. On the point of appropriate scrutiny and guidance, we have processes in place to ensure that Social Innovation Fund projects deliver and report against agreed aims, and that grant offer conditions are met. This includes monitoring project progress and scrutinising grant claims against individual project staff costs.
Due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above. If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House