- 15 Dec 2020
Date received: 7 Oct 2020
Date responded: 15 Dec 2020
The content of all correspondence between the Scottish government and Roddy Dunlop QC between the dates July 1, 2018, and March 1, 2019. This should include the content of any emails, handwritten notes, text, WhatsApp or other electronic messages.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is the significant volume of documents which would require to be located, retrieved and appropriately redacted. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.
You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. For example, you could restrict your request to a narrower date range if there is a specific date or dates that you are interested in, and/or combining this with more specific subject matter, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at:
In considering how the scope of the request could be narrowed, you may wish to be aware that as Mr Dunlop was instructed on behalf of the Scottish Government within the period covered by your request, much of this information would likely be exempt information in terms of section 36(1) of FOISA (confidentiality in legal proceedings) because disclosure would breach legal professional privilege. While we cannot prejudge the application of exemptions to any future requests, if the request were to be narrowed but still focus on correspondence between Mr Dunlop and the Scottish Government, then we think it is likely this exemption might apply to much of the information in scope. You may therefore wish to consider this if you are considering making a further request.
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