Publication - FOI/EIR release

Chief Social Work Advisers’ contributions to the Bar Reporters Working Group: FOI release

Published: 7 Sep 2020

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

Published:
7 Sep 2020
Chief Social Work Advisers’ contributions to the Bar Reporters Working Group: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000062999
Date received: 16 Jul 2020
Date responded: 13 Aug 2020
Information requested

1. All recorded information you hold in relation to the Chief Social Work Adviser being invited to join or otherwise contribute to the Bar Reporters Working Group. (It may assist you to note the content of Appendix A here: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0043/00435549.pdf).

2. All recorded information you hold in relation to the Chief Social Work Adviser being invited to contribute to or otherwise inform the development of any and all plans in relation to this role since January 2013 which fall outside the scope of part 1 above.

3. All recorded information you hold in relation to whether or not the Chief Social Work Adviser should be invited to contribute to or otherwise inform the development of any and all plans in relation to this role since January 2013

Response

All three parts of this request relate to the Chief Social Work Adviser.   We are not aware of:

  • the Chief Social Work Adviser being invited to join or otherwise contribute to the Bar Reporters Working Group;
  • the Chief Social Work Adviser being invited to contribute to or otherwise inform the development of any and all plans in relation to Child Welfare Reporters since January 2013;
  • any documents as to whether or not the Chief Social Work Adviser should be invited to contribute to or otherwise inform the development of any and all plans in relation to Child Welfare Reporters since January 2013.

The lead policy unit in the Scottish Government in relation to Child Welfare Reporters is the Family Law Policy Unit (formerly known as the Family and Property Law Team) in the Justice Directorate.  Where appropriate, the Family Law Policy Unit has obtained input from the Office of the Chief Social Work Adviser. I attach the following documents:

  • Document 1: Email between Office of Chief Social Work Adviser and Family Law Policy Unit on 25.06.2020
  • Document 2: Email between Family Law Policy Unit to Office of Chief Social Work Adviser on 17.06.2020
  • Document 3: Email between Family Law Policy Unit to Office of Chief Social Work Adviser on 23.06.2020
  • Document 4: Email between Office of Chief Social Work Adviser to Family Law Policy Unit on 01.07.2020

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 section 30(b) [free and frank advice or exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation]; section 30(c) [prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs]; and section 38(1)(b) [the personal data of a third party] of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

ANNEX
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

Section 30(b)
An exemption under section 30(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.  This exemption relates to the free and frank advice or exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.

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 need to be transparent when making Government policy.  However, this is outweighed by the public interest in not inhibiting in Government the free and frank provision of advice or exchange of views.

Section 30(c)
An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.  This exemption relates to the effective conduct of public affairs.

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 need to be transparent when making Government policy.  However, this is outweighed by the public interest in Ministers being able to effectively conduct public affairs.

Section 38(1)(b)
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.  This exemption relates to the personal detail of a third party. 
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.  

About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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Regent Road
Edinburgh
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