Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence regarding Muftah Salem Eljamel, AKA Sam Eljamel: FOI release

Published: 30 Nov 2020

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

Published:
30 Nov 2020
Correspondence regarding Muftah Salem Eljamel, AKA Sam Eljamel: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000084805
Date received: 5 Sep 2020
Date responded: 30 Sep 2020
Information requested

You asked for:

Please provide copies of the correspondence about Muftah Salem Eljamel, AKA Sam Eljamel, the former Neurosurgeon who worked for NHS Tayside, which were sent and received by the Scottish Government, Chief Medical Officer, or any government ministers and civil servants from January 2012 through to January 2016. All correspondence to include all emails/fax, meetings/and or  minutes from said meetings, telephone and any other form of communications.

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested as an annex to this letter. However, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide  all of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections s.38(1)(b), s.30(b)(i) and s.30(b) (ii) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.

Annex - Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies

An exemption(s) under section(s) s.38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies to personal data concerning a third party. As I am sure you will understand, amongst the information you have requested is a considerable amount of personal data concerning Professor Eljamel, as well as other members of the public who have corresponded with the Scottish Government. Redactions under this exemption have also been made to the documents released.

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.

Exemptions apply, subject to the public interest test In addition to the above, exemptions under sections s.30(b)(i) and s.30(b)(ii) of FOISA apply to a small amount of the information you have requested. These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of 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 concerns previously expressed in public in relation to Professor Eljamel. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in allowing Scottish Government and NHS officials a private space within which to consider issues prior to coming to a settled public view.

About FOI
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.

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