Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence with Community Justice Scotland regarding unpaid work hours: FOI release

Published: 2 Mar 2021

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

Published:
2 Mar 2021
Correspondence with Community Justice Scotland regarding unpaid work hours: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000107025
Date received: 3 Nov 2020
Date responded: 24 Nov 2020
Information requested

Any correspondence (including emails, attachments, typed or handwritten notes, letters, notes/records of phone calls, texts or instant messages, minutes of meetings, briefings or otherwise) between the Scottish Government and Community Justice Scotland regarding the reduction of outstanding unpaid work hours issued as part of community disposals issued in court. Please limit correspondence between 1 April 2020 and the present date.

Response

I attach a copy of most of the information you requested.

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 sections 29(1)(a) (formulation/ development of government policy), 30(b)(ii) (substantial inhibition to free and frank exchange of views) and 38(1)(b) (third party personal data) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.

Exemptions under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA apply to some of the information you have requested due to the information showing development of government policy in the early stages, where options are identified and considered, risks are identified, consultation takes place and recommendations and submissions are presented to Scottish Ministers. 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 due to our desire to be an open and transparent government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that policy can be developed in a well informed and considered way, including through open engagement and debate with relevant external organisations.

Exemptions under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISE applies to some of the information you have requested due to the information potentially inhibiting the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption is also subject to the 'public interest test'. As before, 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. Again, we have found that the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption to enable frank discussions with stakeholders in order to ensure that decision making is well informed.

Exemptions under section 38(1)(b) of FOISE applies to most of the information you have requested due to the information containing personal data of individuals and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation 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.

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
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG