Publication - FOI/EIR release

Number of civil servants to monitor EU law making: FOI release

Published: 25 Mar 2021

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

Published:
25 Mar 2021
Number of civil servants to monitor EU law making: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000115177
Date received: 24 Nov 2020
Date responded: 23 Dec 2020
Information requested

Copies of any correspondence (briefings, emails, memos, minutes of calls, letters and/or otherwise) between civil servants and/or Special Advisors that outline the projected number of civil servants that will be needed to monitor EU law making so the keeping pace law outlined in the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill is upheld.

Response

In answer to your request, we have provided you with the information you requested. Please see the attachments for details.

For ease, I have referenced the email exchanges (this can be found at ANNEX A) by the attachments they relate to and attached the relevant documents (A, B, C and D).

There are also 3 separate email exchanges that fall within the scope of your request, they can be found in ANNEX B.

To ensure we have provided you with the fullest possible response, I have, where possible, included live links to documents and websites where they are referenced in the information released.

You may find it helpful to review the financial memorandum to the Bill:
https://beta.parliament.scot/-/media/files/legislation/bills/current-bills/uk-withdrawal-from-the-european-union-continuity-scotland-bill-2020/introduced/financial-memorandum-uk-withdrawal-from-the-european-union-continuity-bill.pdf

And also the Government’s response to the Finance and Constitution Committee’s stage 1 report: https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Finance/General%20Documents/Letter(3).pdf 

REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
An exemption applies


An exemption applies under section s.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA to some of the information you have requested. Section 38 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) contains four exemptions, all relating to personal information. Information is exempt from disclosure if it is:

  • the personal data of the person requesting the information (section 38(1)(a));
  • the personal data of a third party – but only if other conditions apply (section 38(1)(b));
  • personal census information (section 38(1)(c)); or
  • a deceased person’s health record (section 38(1)(d)).

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

Exemptions under sections; s.30 (free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

This has been applied where there have been examples of early decision making and informal discussions between policy officials in order to establish early policy.

Section 30 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure where disclosure would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm to one or more of the following:

  • the maintenance of the convention of the collective responsibility of the Scottish Ministers
  • the free and frank provision of advice
  • the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation
  • the effective conduct of public affairs

All of the exemptions in section 30 are subject to the public interest test. This means that, even if the exemption applies, the information must be disclosed unless the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. This has been applied where Scottish Government officials have had free and frank exchanged 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.

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.

FOI202000115177 - Annex A & B

8 page PDF
437.3 kB

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