Future of Justice Social Work correspondence: FOI release

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

Information requested

The report of the review of adults social care published today has several references to work being undertaken on the future of justice social work.

Can you please provide any documents or meeting minutes held by the Scottish Government in reference to future development or changes to justice social work.


Attached is some 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 section 30(b)(ii) (substantial inhibition of 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.

An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested as disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. Sustaining effective relationships with stakeholders and ensuring open dialogue on strategic issues impacting on justice social work is vital, and particular consideration has been given to the basis on which the information in question was shared and discussed and the likely effect that disclosure would have on the ability to continue to share views freely to inform ongoing policy development. It is considered that disclosure would likely result in a reluctance by key stakeholders to share further early views on this subject for the purpose of informing deliberation around the future of justice social work. As consideration of this topic remains topical (both in terms of ongoing deliberation within the justice sector and in the context of wider consideration the future of social work), it is considered that disclosure at this stage would be particularly detrimental.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have found that while there is public interest in disclosing the information in the interests of being open and transparent, this is outweighed by the strong public interest in enabling open and frank discussions between Scottish Government officials and key stakeholders about the future of justice social work, in order to inform good quality policy development. On balance, therefore, we consider that the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.

Exemptions under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA 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
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.

FOI202100150261 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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