Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence concerning the Nike conference in February 2020: FOI release

Published: 10 Jun 2021

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

Published:
10 Jun 2021
Correspondence concerning the Nike conference in February 2020: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100134831
Date received: 10 Jun 2020
Date responded: 4 Jun 2021
Information requested

Communications between Scottish Government and others on the subject the Nike conference held in Edinburgh late February 2020.

This would include but not only with, Edinburgh City Council, Carlton Hilton Hotel, North Bridge. Also any communications on the subject of the Nike conference from any source

Response

The Scottish Government has some of the information you have asked for.  A response to your request is outlined in the Annex and attached document.

The following exemptions have been applied to the attached documents which are also outlined in the Annex of this letter: 

Section 25(1) –                     Information otherwise accessible
Section 38(i)(b) -                  Personal information
Section 30(b)(i) and (ii) –    Free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation

ANNEX

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because there was no direct communication between the Scottish Government and the City of Edinburgh Council or Carlton Hilton Hotel about the outbreak.

Health Protection Scotland (HPS), now part of Public Health Scotland, was alerted by international public health authorities on 2 March 2020 of an individual outwith Scotland who had tested positive for COVID-19 following their attendance at a conference in Edinburgh at the end of February. HPS established an
Incident Management Team with representatives from Scottish NHS boards and national and international public health agencies. Scottish Ministers were notified of a case related to the conference on the evening of 3 March 2020.

On Wednesday 4 March, this case was also confirmed in a Scottish Government press release, in line with standard reporting procedures for confirmed COVID-19 cases at the time.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The following exemptions have been applied:

Section 25(1) – Information Otherwise Accessible
An exemption under section 25 (1) applies to the letter the First Minister received from Ian Murray MP on 13 May 2020 (Document 8). This letter was published and is available at: https://twitter.com/IanMurrayMP/status/1260577232105484297?s=20

NHS Lothian’s response to a FOI request (Document 6) is available at: Microsoft Word - 4391-Nike Conference - May 2020.doc (nhslothian.scot)

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. 

Section 38(i)(b) - personal information
An exemption under section s.38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it is the personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details 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.

Section 30(b)(i) and (ii) – Free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation

Exemptions under section 30(b)(i) and (ii) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation) applies to some 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 and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.

The exemptions recognise the need for Ministers and officials to have a private space within which to discuss and explore options before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank discussions on public health will substantially inhibit such discussions in the future. 

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